The health of Brazil football legend Pele “improved” on Thursday but he remained in a special care unit at the Sao Paulo hospital where he had been admitted three days ago suffering from a urinary infection.
“The clinical condition of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) has improved but he remains under intensive care”, said a statement released by the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo.
It added that the 74-year-old, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, was receiving renal treatment.
Earlier, after confirming that he had been taken in on Monday, the hospital said that Pele’s medical tests showed the presence of a urinary infection.
His agent Jose Fornos said that the star was tired after receiving too many visits, and added: “Pele is receiving treatment that could go on for eight days. Thanks to God he is conscious and is talking”.
Pele underwent surgery for kidney stones on 13 November and appeared in good humour when he was released two days later, opening his window to salute fans who had gathered around the hospital and joking to journalists: “I am ready to play tomorrow”.
He had to cancel an appearance at his museum in Santos, on the coast near Sao Paulo, on 12 November 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 Pele’s 1000th career goal.