Brazilian football legend Pele has been placed in a special care unit, three days after he was admitted with an infection of the urinary tract, reports said.

The Albert Einstein clinic treating the 74-year-old three-time world champion, said Pele's condition has worsened following a kidney stone surgery in the same facility less than two weeks ago.

Last Wednesday, the clinic reported that the retired athlete Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pele, was in a stable condition.

Pele, nicknamed O Rei (the king), was born in a humble home in the city of Tres Coracoes, but is considered by many as the greatest footballer in history with his exploits for Brazil and a career which 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.

Earlier this year, Pele was a special ambassador for Brazil at the World Cup.

Source: Agencies