Brazil legend Pele rejects health concerns and says he is fine in hospital

Image: Pele: A Pele Museum was recently opened in Santos to honour the legendary player

Pele's condition is improving in a Sao Paulo hospital with the Brazilian football legend insisting it is "nothing serious".

The 74-year-old was admitted with a urinary infection three days ago and is expected to remain in hospital for at least a week, according to his spokesman.

There had been concerns about his health earlier on Thursday, but tweeting from the Albert Einstein Hospital, Pele said: "I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine. I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only.

"While I appreciate all the visitors that came to see me, I really need to continue my treatment and recovery in peace. I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious.

"I am looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with my family, and will start the new year with renewed health, with many international trips already planned! Thank you!"

A brief statement released on Thursday night by the hospital read: "The patient Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) shows an improvement in his clinical condition and will continue under the care of the special care unit.

"He is currently temporarily receiving renal / kidney support, but requires no further support of any kind." 

Jose Fornos Rodrigues, Pele's personal aide, said earlier on Thursday he was "completely fine" and the move was mainly to protect his privacy with several hundred fans gathered outside the hospital.      

"He was uncomfortable with so many people coming. It'll be quieter now," Rodrigues said.

Pele is in hospital in Sao Paulo after being admitted with a urinary infection

The former Santos striker had surgery for kidney stones on November 13 before being released two days later.

In a statement, the hospital said: “To receive the best care he was transferred in order to be monitored in a special care unit."

Pele is a three-time World Cup winner and was named by FIFA as their joint Player of the Twenty Century along with Diego Maradona. He was also named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee.

Nicknamed O Rei (The King), Pele  is widely regarded as the greatest footballer in the history of the game, having scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games.

On the international stage, he scored 77 goals in 91 games and won his first World Cup aged just 17, scoring twice in the 1958 final win over hosts Sweden.

Around Sky