UPDATE – Pelé’s daughter posts picture that gives clearest indication of his failing health

Pelé - Credit Nelson Antoine / Shutterstock.com

14:13 (December 24) – Kely Nascimento, Pelé’s daughter, has taken to Instagram to provide an update on her father’s condition.

Posting a touching picture of the football legend being hugged by her in the Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital in São Paulo, she said: “We continue to be here, in fight and in faith. One more night together.”

The picture of her on the bed with her dad hugging him also includes Sophia, one of his granddaughters but also gives the clearest indication of his worsening health.

The 82-year-old is still on oxygen suggesting that his condition remains fragile and that whilst the main infection has been dealt with, his cancer continues to keep him bedridden.

As before Nascimento thanked well-wishers for their tributes and messages of support, which she says continues to get them through the day.

Pele with his granddaughters
Pele with his daughter Nacimiento and granddaughters

22:42 (December 22) – The kidneys and heart of the Brazilian legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento ‘Pelé’ are said to be failing according to the news channel RTVE.

Pelé was hospitalised a little over three weeks ago needing further treatment for his colon cancer, however, doctors at the Albert Einstein Hospital where he is being treated say he now has other complications.

Although he is said to be strong and in good spirits, he is receiving additional care as his kidneys and heart being to fail. A bulletin released by the hospital said that the 82-year-old triple-world cup holder”remains hospitalised but that he remains in a general ward.

The hospital added that he continues to receive the medical care that he needs.

His daughters have reported that the great man won’t be home for Christmas saying on social media: “Our Christmas at home was suspended.

“We decided with the doctors, that, for various reasons, it will be better to stay here, with all the care.”

Flavia Arantes in a message published on her social networks thanked everyone for “all the love” received from fans around the world, jokingly promising to turn his hospital room “into a sambadrome” and “make caipirinhas” to celebrate Christmas.

She added that: “The love for him, the stories and your prayers are a huge comfort because we know we are not alone.”

Pelé has apparently recovered from the respiratory infection that was detected on his hospital admission and has been well enough to send congratulations to the Argentine team and Lionel Messi for conquering his third star and recognising the brilliant performance of the Frenchman Kylian Mbappé in the final last Sunday.

“What a gift it was to see this spectacle for the future of our sport. And I couldn’t help but congratulate Morocco on its incredible campaign. It’s great to see Africa shine. Congratulations, Argentina! I’m sure Diego (Maradona) is smiling now.


07:15 (December 4) – Following reports that doctors have said there is nothing more they can do for Pelé, he has posted on his Instagram account saying he feels strong.

Th 82-year-old who remains in hospital said he has “a lot of hope” adding “My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive.

“I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual.

“I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received.

“I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you all over the world keeps me full of energy.

“And watch Brazil in the World Cup too! Thank you so much for everything.”

For most the news that his condition has not worsened will bring them much joy, knowing full well that Brazil still have their first knockout game ahead of them and he will want to watch that.

Will Pele’s condition provide the inspiration they need to progress in the tournament. Only time will tell.


14:59 (December 3) – The Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo is reporting that Pelé’s doctors have said there is nothing more they can do for him and that he will be put on palliative care.

According to the Sâo Paolo based newspaper on Saturday, December 3 doctors in the hospital treating the 82-year-old have said that there is no cure for him and that he is not well enough to undergo further chemotherapy.

Pelé is said to be dealing with metastases of cancer in his body; that is the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body.

Doctors say chemotherapy is no longer helpful and it is now to time to make sure the footballing legend suffers as little discomfort as possible. Diagnosed with colon cancer last year, he underwent an operation in September 2021 to remove a tumour.

He has undergone further treatment since, but this is the first time that doctors have said there is nothing more they can do for him.

Folha de S.Paulo say in their report that the cancer has spread to his intestines, lungs and liver.

Understandably his family have not wanted to discuss his health as they ready themselves to deal with the grief knowing that his time is short. But they do have the prayers and well wishes of the whole world behind them after Pelé’s doctors say there is nothing more they can do for him.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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