Pele improving but still on dialysis - hospital

The revered Brazilian took to Twitter to, politely, ask people to give him a little space.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 14.00

BRAZILIAN FOOTBALL LEGEND Pele’s health is improving but he is still receiving an intensive treatment known as hemodialysis for a urinary infection, the hospital treating him said on Friday.

Pele, 74, “is in better clinical condition,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, adding that he was “lucid” and breathing on his own but still receiving hemodialysis, which involves filtering a patient’s blood through an artificial kidney that cleans it before returning it to the body.

The hospital said the measure was a “temporary kidney support” and that no other treatment was currently required.

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time.

He was admitted to hospital Monday and diagnosed with a urinary infection.

After the hospital said Thursday that he had been placed in intensive care, he took to Facebook and Twitter to insist that he was fine and had simply been moved to another room for more privacy.

“I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine,” he wrote.

“I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious.

“I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only. While I appreciate all the visitors that came to see me, I really need to continue my treatment and recovery in peace.”

He said he would spend the upcoming holidays with family and looked forward to beginning 2015 “with renewed health,” adding he had “many international trips already planned.”

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His agent Jose Fornos said that the star was tired after receiving too many visits, and added that his treatment “could go on for eight days.”

Pele underwent surgery for kidney stones at the same hospital on November 13.

He had to cancel an appearance at his museum in Santos, on the coast near Sao Paulo, on November 12 as he began showing symptoms of the illness.

And he was also forced to miss a gathering of members of the Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, who had come together to mark the 45th anniversary of his 1,000th career goal.

But he appeared to be in good humor when he was released from hospital two days later, joking with journalists: “I am ready to play tomorrow.”

Nicknamed O Rei (The King), Pele was born in a humble home in the city of Tres Coracoes. He is considered by many as the greatest footballer in history with his exploits for Brazil and a career that saw him score 1,281 goals in 1,363 games.

He scored 77 goals in 91 games for his country and won his first World Cup aged just 17, scoring twice in the 1958 final win over hosts Sweden.

In 1977, he inspired New York Cosmos to the US national title in his final season with the club, which featured fellow greats Franz Beckenbauer, Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and former Brazil captain Carlos Alberto.

- © AFP, 2014; first published 09.28

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