Pele says he feels “strong” and has “a lot of hope” as he undergoes treatment in hospital to fight colon cancer.
The Brazilian legend is responding well and his health has not worsened in the last 24 hours, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said on Saturday.
It follows a report from a Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S.Paulo said Pele he had been transferred to palliative care and was only receiving treatment for symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.
The 82-year-old underwent surgery to remove the tumor in September 2021.
He has been in the hospital since Tuesday to “review the medical treatment” of his colon tumor.
“He is still receiving treatment and is stable,” the hospital added.
The statement was posted on Pele’s Instagram along with a message that read: “I want everyone to be calm and determined.
“I am strong, I have high hopes and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the whole 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 makes me full of strength. And look at Brazil in the World Cup.”
England captain Harry Kane was among those who wished Pele well on Saturday, calling him “an inspiration to our game, an amazing player and an amazing person”.
Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 games.
Asked about the advice Pele gave him, when he encouraged the Tottenham player not to believe he was the best player in the world and to keep learning, Kane said: “Hearing those words from him was very special for me.
“And I’ve always felt like I’m a person who’s always learning and I’ll continue to learn throughout my career, so he took his advice.
“Of course, it’s sad to hear the news, but we wish him well, not only from myself but also from the whole establishment of England.”
French striker Kylian Mbappe, who became the first teenager since Pele to win the World Cup four years ago in Russia, wrote on Saturday: “Pray for the King @Pele” as a tribute to the Brazilian legend.