Former rival Romario sends 'King' Pele a message of support

‘The whole world is praying for you!’: Former rival Romario sends Pele a message of support after Brazilian football legend spends Christmas Day in hospital… with the 82-year-old’s condition worsening

  • Fellow Brazil legend, Romario, has sent Pele a message of support in recent days 
  • Pele’s family gathered at the hospital to be by his side during Christmas Day
  • The Brazilian football star has been battling colon cancer since September 2021 
  • Romario and Pele had disputes in their careers but set it aside for the message 

One of Pele’s former rivals, Romario, has wished the Brazilian football legend well in a recent video on social media.

The 82-year-old, who had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021, was admitted to the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo on November 29 and recently spent Christmas Day there.

As his conditions worsen, family members have gathered in the hospital to stay with him and former team-mates – and rivals – have now sent messages of support.

Former Brazil striker Romario spoke to Brazilian TV to wish Pele better in a recent video

Pele was admitted to the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein during his battle with colon cancer

Speaking to Ge Globo, Romario said: ‘King, get better. So much faith. The whole world is looking and praying for you. Improvements! I kiss your heart.’

Though Romario has wished Pele better in his recent message, the two football legends have not always see eye-to-eye in their careers. 

The pair of former Selecao strikers had been embroiled in their bitter feud since Romario branded Pele ‘a poet when he doesn’t speak’ back in 2007. 

Pele quickly hit back at the claims when he 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.’

Similarly to Pele, Romario is seen as a legendary Brazilian striker following his illustrious career where he scored 542 goals in 698 games.

Romario lines up for Brazil wearing the number 11 shirt during the 1994 World Cup

Both Pele and Romario are seen as two of the greatest Brazilian striker’s in history

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Pele’s family gathered in hospital as his condition worsened – with his daughter vowing to stick by his side as the Brazil great receives care in hospital after his cancer progressed. 

Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, had confirmed members of his family would spend Christmas in the hospital with him – his son and grandchildren have joined in daughter in being by his side.

On Saturday, she posted a picture on Instagram which showed her sitting next to one of Pele’s sons, Edinho, and two of his children at the hospital.

‘He (Edson) is here,’ Kely Nascimento wrote alongside the picture, adding in a hashtag ‘I will not be leaving, nobody will take me out of here.’

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento confirmed members of his family would spend Christmas in the hospital with the Brazil legend

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento shared an emotional photo hugging her dad in hospital

She also previously posted a moving photo of her father in a hospital bed as they cherish ‘another night together’ while he continues his cancer battle. 

Pele, 82, has been battling colon cancer since September 2021 and was hospitalised on November 29 for doctors to reevaluate his treatment. 

‘We continue to be here, in fight and in faith. Another night together,’ his daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of Pele being hugged in bed. Pelé’s granddaughter Sophia can also be seen in the photo. 

Along with the moving photo, a video was shared showing Pele sleeping his bed while family spoke to him. 

Pele is spending Christmas in The Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital and there has been an outpouring of emotion in recent weeks, with star players like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe leading the well wishes to ‘the King’.

In a recent Instagram post Nascimento said that the support of her father’s fans was a ‘huge comfort’ to him.

She wrote: ‘Your love for him, your stories and your prayers are a HUGE comfort because we know we are not alone.

‘Let’s turn this room into a Sambadrome (just kidding), let’s even make caipirinhas (not kidding!!).’

A video has also emerged of Pele resting while family sit on his bed to show him messages

The hospital provided an update on Pele’s condition earlier this week, detailing that he now requires care for cardiac and renal dysfunction. 

‘Admitted since November 29 for a reassessment of chemotherapy therapy for colon tumor and treatment of a respiratory infection, Edson Arantes do Nascimento presents progression of the oncological disease and requires greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions,’ the update from medical staff read.

‘The patient remains hospitalised in a common room, under the necessary care of the medical team.’

Pele is widely considered Brazil’s greatest ever player and he was able to watch his country’s campaign at the World Cup in Qatar, despite being in hospital. 

He burst on to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes, before also winning the 1962 and 1970 World Cups with the national side

Pele, who is considered one of the greatest footballers ever, won three World Cups with Brazil

Brazil players held a banner of support for Pele after their World Cup win over South Korea

Concern for Pele accelerated last month when a news report emerged that he was being moved to end-of-life care, something his daughters swiftly denied. 

Speaking to Fantastico about her father last month, Kely explained: ‘About three weeks ago he got Covid. He is vaccinated, with all the vaccines, but because of the cancer medicine, the chemotherapy, which is fragile, he got a lung infection. 

‘That’s why he went to the hospital, because of the lung infection. Is he serious? It’s serious, because he’s a certain age, he’s treating cancer.’

Flavia, his other daughter, went on to explain how the hospital is the best place for Pele to get the care he needs.

She said: ‘At the hospital, he is better assisted. But he’s not in the ICU, he’s in a normal room. So he’s not at risk. As a person with a more delicate health, it is better to be in the hospital.’

Since then his condition has become trickier and his family are now by his bedside as he continues to fight the disease. 

Kylian Mbappe took to Twitter earlier this month to show his support towards the Brazilian icon

After the World Cup final, Pele posted the following message to his Instagram page

The World Cup has been a tournament that Pele was able to follow closely around his treatment and the 82-year-old also watched the final of the tournament from his bed.

Having commended Brazil, despite their quarter-final exit, he once again took to social media to congratulate Lionel Messi and Argentina after their dramatic penalty shootout win against France. 

‘Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way. Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved,’ Pele wrote on Instagram.

‘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.’ 

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