Family members of Pele have gathered at the hospital where the Brazilian football legend is being treated for worsening cancer as well as kidney and heart problems.
Edinho, Pele’s son, arrived on Saturday at the medical centre in Sao Paulo, where he joined his sisters Flavia and Kely Nascimento.
He posted a photo on Instagram of himself holding the 82-year-old’s hand, captioning it: “Father … my strength is yours.”
The ex-goalkeeper – who was recently appointed coach of Serie B football club Londrina, based in Parana in the north – arrived a day after having explained his absence at his father’s side to local media.
“I would like to be present, but I am committed to my mission here. I’m not a doctor, I couldn’t really help much,” he said in an interview published on Friday by the daily Estadao.
That same day, Kely shared a photo of herself hugging her father in the hospital with the caption “one more night together”.
Late on Saturday, Kely posted a picture of Pele’s wife Marcia Aoki and other family members gathered at the Albert Einstein Hospital. Pele was not visible in the image.
“Almost all of us. Merry Christmas. Gratitude, love, union, family. The essence of Christmas. We thank you all for all the love and light you send us,” Kely wrote.
On Wednesday, the hospital announced that Pele’s colon cancer was showing “progression” and he needed “more extensive care to treat kidney and heart failure”.
Earlier that day, his daughters had announced he would not be home for Christmas.
The atmosphere was calm outside the hospital on Saturday, the AFP news agency reported.
Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time and has received several messages of support since his hospitalisation, including from French star Kylian Mbappe, who called on followers to “pray for the King”.
Pele was hospitalised in Sao Paulo on November 29 for what his medical team called a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been receiving since having surgery to remove a colon tumour in September 2021.