Football icon Pele on 'end of life' care: 'Pray for the king'

Brazil and football icon Pele holding the World Cup trophy.
Brazil and football icon Pele is reportedly in palliative care. (Getty Images)

The football world has been left stunned after the news icon Pele has reportedly been moved to palliative care after entering hospital earlier in the week. Pele, regarded as arguably the greatest player of all-time, underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon last year, and has been in and out of hospital since.

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The Brazilian legend was hospitalised this week and to allay fears his daughter said there was "no surprise or emergency". She said it was a 'monthly visit' for Pele on a post on Instagram. However, in a tragic report, Pele was moved to palliative care and is now receiving pain-relieving measures in an end-of-life care ward, according to Folha de Sao Paulo on Saturday.

The 82-year-old will not be the subject of any invasive treatment or tests.

Pele's manager and the Albert Einstein Hospital, in Sao Paulo, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

With the world's eyes on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, football greats and current players were quick to wish the icon a speedy recovery.

France superstar Kylian Mbappe wrote: 'Pray for the King'. While Brazil great Rivaldo, who won the World Cup in 2002, wished Pele strength on his Twitter. Pele's former club Santos said: "The whole world stands with you and wishes you the best."

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Icon Pele sends Brazil a message before World Cup

A medical report released on Friday said Pele had an adequate response to an antibiotic treatment and was in a stable condition "with general improvement in health status".

As a teenager, Pele inspired Brazil to their first World Cup triumph in 1958 and won the tournament with the Selecao twice more in 1962 and 1970.

Last week, when Brazil got their 2022 campaign under way, he sent a message of good luck to the squad.

An Instagram post from his account said: "Today we start writing a new story. No matter the size and tradition of the opponents: we must respect and play each match with the focus of a final.

A tribute to Pele (pictured) in Doha.
A tribute to Pele (pictured) during the Qatar World Cup. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

"I am sending all positive energies to you. I'm sure we'll have a happy ending. God bless you. Bring this trophy home!"

Brazil won group G despite rounding off the pool stage with a shock 1-0 defeat to Cameroon following wins over Serbia and Switzerland. They face South Korea in the last 16 on Monday.

with AAP

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