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Pele: Brazil legend responding well to treatment for respiratory infection, doctors say

Brazil legend Pele says "I want to keep everyone calm and positive"; the 82-year-old has been in hospital in Sao Paulo since 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 was diagnosed with a respiratory infection on Friday

Pele says he feels "strong" and has "a lot of hope" as he receives hospital treatment in his battle with colon cancer.

The Brazil legend is responding well and his health condition has not worsened over the last 24 hours, the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said on Saturday.

It follows a report from Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S.Paulo that said Pele had been moved to palliative care and was only being treated for symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.

The 82-year-old had surgery to remove a tumour during September 2021.

He has been in hospital since Tuesday for a "reassessment of chemotherapy therapy" of his colon tumour.

"He is still having treatment and remains stable," the hospital added.

The statement was posted on Pele's official Instagram alongside a message which said: "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."

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England captain Harry Kane has sent his best wishes to Pele, amid concerns over his health

England captain Harry Kane was among those to wish Pele well on Saturday, calling him "an inspiration in our game, an incredible footballer and an incredible person".

Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.

Asked about the advice Pele had given him, in which he urged the Tottenham striker to never believe he is the best player in the world and keep learning, Kane said: "To hear those words back then from him was really special for me.

"And I always feel like I'm someone who is always learning and will continue to learn for the rest of my career, so he was spot on with his advice.

"Of course, sad to hear that news, but we wish him well, not just me but the whole England set-up as well."

France forward Kylian Mbappe, who became the first teenager since Pele to win the World Cup four years ago in Russia, tweeted on Saturday: "Pray for the King @Pele" as a tribute for the Brazil legend.

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