Brazil great Pele has not been moved to palliative care, one of his daughters said on Sunday, downplaying reports that he was in end-of-life care after the 82-year-old was hospitalized last week to re-evaluate his treatment as he battles colon cancer.
One of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has been receiving hospital care on a regular basis.
Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday that he was under palliative care after chemotherapy stopped having the expected results.
Pele's doctors have not confirmed that information and his daughter, Flavia Nascimento, said the report was wide of the mark.
"It's pretty unfair people saying that he is in terminal condition, that he is under palliative care. Believe us: that's not it," she said in an interview with Globo TV.
Flavia said that from time to time they adjust medication as there was no complete remission of his colon cancer.
The latest report from medical staff at Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein Hospital, released Saturday afternoon, said Pele was in stable condition and had also responded well to treatment for a respiratory infection diagnosed after his hospitalization.
Another one of Pele's daughters, Kely, added in the interview that he had COVID-19 some three weeks ago, which led to the respiratory infection.
"He is sick, he is old, but at the moment he is being treated for a respiratory infection and when he gets better he will be back home," Kely said. "He is not saying goodbye in a hospital right now".
Pele played for Brazil and club sides Santos and New York Cosmos as a striker. He won the World Cup three times - in 1958, 1962 and 1970 - a feat no other player has achieved.
Santos fans gathered outside the hospital to hold a vigil on Sunday.
"We are emanating positive energies to our king, for everything he has done for soccer globally and everything he has done for Santos," said Jeferson Silvano, the head of a supporters group.