Pele’s family to fans: ‘He’s not in ICU’

STORY: Soccer legend Pele has not been moved to intensive care.

That's according to his family, who denied rumors that the star was in end-of-life care after he was hospitalized a week earlier as he battles colon cancer.

One of the greatest soccer players of all time and the winner of three World Cups, Pele played for Brazil and clubs Santos and New York Cosmos as a striker. He had a tumor removed from his colon in September 2021 and has been receiving hospital care regularly.

Pele’s daughter told Brazil's TV Globo on Sunday that while Pele is feeling “fragile” from chemotherapy, they don’t want fans to think he’s dying.

“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."

The tower outside the Khalifa International Stadium at the World Cup in Doha lit up on Saturday with get well messages for Pele. Some of his fans gathered outside Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo where he’s receiving care from. Longtime fan Ciro Santos wishes Pele a speedy recovery.

“The expectation is that he will be fine, we know that it is a somewhat delicate situation, so the least that we can do as Santos supporters is to pay tribute to him so that he recovers and know that we are here supporting him as he always did.”

Medical staff at the hospital said Pele was in stable condition and had responded well to treatment.