Pele update – Brazilian football legend’s old rival says he’s ‘praying’ as 82-year-old’s condition worsens | The Sun
27th December 2022

BRAZILIAN footie legend Romario has put his rivalry with Pele aside to send the poorly 82-year-old his well wishes.

He said he was "praying" for the three times World Cup winner as his health sadly continues to deteriorate.

Pele has been battling colon cancer since September 2021, but his condition has worsened in recent weeks.

The footballing icon's family have been gathered at his bedside over Christmas following his latest health scare.

This week, doctors said his cancer had advanced and that he now requires care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

As the world of football reels from the sad news, players from around the world have sent Pele messages of support.


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Even his former foe Romario has offered up his well wishes for the sporting star – despite their fiery feud over the years.

The retired ace turned politician, 56, told Ge Globo: "King, get better. So much faith.

"The whole world is looking and praying for you. Improvements! I kiss your heart."

His touching words were welcomed by Brazil fans, who were moved to see the striker put their differences aside.

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The duo had been locked in a bitter war of words since 2007 when Romario dubbed Pele "a poet when he doesn't speak."

The Brazilian hero hit back at the jibe, simply branding his rival "ignorant" in a scathing response.

Pele said: "There are lots of people who don't really know what they want and simply attack the past.

"But I'm a Catholic and I believe that God always forgiven the ignorant, so I forgive the ignorant."

The Selecao legends continued to lock horns over the years, with fans pitting the pair against each other.

Pele, who says he scored 1,283 goals during his illustrious career, easily dwarfed party-loving Romario's 542 balls hitting the back of the net.

But they are both regarded as geniuses on the pitch thanks to their incredible skill.

Other footie stars have expressed their support for Pele since his hospitalisation.

Brazilians Rivaldo and Vinicius Jr wrote on their social media channels: "Strength King."

And French star Kylian Mbappe called on his 10.9miillion Twitter followers to "pray for the King."

Pele praised the striker's efforts in the 2022 World Cup, after revealing his beloved team's run had kept him "full of energy" before Brazil were knocked out by Croatia.

He wrote in an Instagram post: "Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way. Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved.

"My dear friend, Mbappé, scoring four goals in a final. What a gift it was to watch this spectacle to the future of our sport."

In the latest update on his health, Pele's daughter said his family were grateful for "another night" with him.

Kely Nascimento shared emotional pictures from the hospital online after celebrating Christmas at his bedside.

She wrote in a heartbreaking Instagram post that his loved ones still "have a lot to be thankful for."

Kely continued: "Even in sadness we can only be thankful.

"Thank you for being together, thank you for all your affection, thank you that I can be here now with him.

"Merry Christmas. Lots of health, lots of love, lots of joy, lots of laughter and lots of passion, today and always, for all of you.

"Another night with him."

Pele's wife Marcia Aoki was also pictured gathered at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo.

Pele is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Along with his three World Cup wins, he scored 643 goals in 659 in official matches for club side Santos.

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That incredible record added to his 77 goals in 92 matches for Brazil.

He has been fighting colon cancer since he was diagnosed with a tumour in his large intestine last year.

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