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Pele: Hospitalised Brazil legend improving with 'no new complications', doctors say

Brazil legend Pele is improving and has "no new complications", doctors said on Tuesday; the 82-year-old has been in hospital in Sao Paulo since last Tuesday and was diagnosed with a respiratory infection on Friday; Pele is widely known as one of the greatest footballers of all time

Image: Pele is Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches

Hospitalised Brazil legend Pele is improving and has "no new complications", doctors said on Tuesday.

The 82-year-old has been hospitalised for a week to treat a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19. He is expected to leave the hospital when he fully recovers from the infection.

"(He has) stable vital signs, is conscious, and with no new complications," the Albert Einstein hospital said in a statement.

Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, is also fighting cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.

In Qatar, the image of a young Pele celebrating goals and lifting trophies with Brazil's national team appeared on the shirts, flags and banners of Brazilian fans who gathered on Monday before their last-16 World Cup win over South Korea, which Pele had said he would be watching from hospital.

Fans display banners in tribute to Brazil legend Pele
Image: Brazil's fans pay tribute to Pele at their last-16 win over South Korea

Brazil's players displayed a banner in support of Pele on the pitch as they celebrated their victory over South Korea.

The squad unfurled the banner, which featured just one word - 'Pele!' - alongside a picture of the Brazil great, in the wake of their 4-1 triumph.

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Image: Brazil's players show their support for Pele after their win over South Korea

Ahead of Monday evening's last-16 tie at Stadium 974, Pele recalled memories of his World Cup debut in 1958, when the 17-year-old helped Brazil lift the Jules Rimet Trophy in Sweden.

He wrote on Twitter: "In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father. I know that today many have made similar promises and are also going in search of their first World Cup.

"I'll be watching the game from hospital and I'll be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!"

Injury affected Pele's contribution to the 1962 and 1966 World Cup finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.

Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977, although club Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.

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