According to a statement from the hospital where the 82-year-old Brazil legend is being treated, the world’s greatest ever footballer, Pele, is set to spend Christmas in hospital after medical reports showed that his cancer has worsened.

The three-times World Cup winner was hospitalized in November for doctors to re-evaluate his treatment. The Brazilian icon has been battling colon cancer since September 2021


As his daughter, Kely Nascimento, asks for 'prayers' so he knows he's not 'alone', she added: “Three weeks ago he had Covid. He is vaccinated with all doses but because of the cancer medication, the chemotherapy that makes him more fragile, he’s got a lung infection, and that is why he went to hospital.”

"Our Christmas at home has been suspended," she wrote. "We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us."

His other daughter Flavia said Pelé is not in the ICU and is not at risk, as he undergoes treatment. She reiterated that her father is not terminal or in palliative care.

An update said that he requires greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction. A statement from the Sao Paulo hospital where he is being treated has confirmed that Pele's cancer has progressed.

The statement issued by the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein said Pele "requires greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions" because of the "cancer progression". His daughter wrote on Instagram that he would spend Christmas in the facility.

Since having a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021, he has since had regular treatment. Just after he was admitted, a statement issued by the hospital said Pele "had a good response to treatment for respiratory infection care" and added he was undergoing a "reassessment of chemotherapy treatment".

Pele is Brazil's all-time leading men's scorer with 77 goals in 92 games and he helped his country win the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Brazil players paid tribute to Pele after their last-16 win over South Korea during the 2022 World Cup, holding up a banner with his name and picture.