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Pele "Improving" in Cancer Fight


FILE: Legendary Brazilian footballer Pele poses for a portrait with his 1958 World Cup trophy during an interview in New York, U.S., April 26, 2016

Pele's health is "improving progressively," his doctors said Tuesday, a week after the 82-year-old Brazilian football legend was hospitalized in Sao Paulo amid ongoing treatment for colon cancer.

With the World Cup in full swing in Qatar, Pele fans have been on edge over the health of the footballer considered by many the greatest of all time, who has been in fragile health in recent years.

He was hospitalized last Tuesday in Sao Paulo for what doctors called a "reevaluation" of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been undergoing since having surgery in September 2021 to remove a colon tumor.

They also diagnosed a respiratory infection, which they are treating with antibiotics.

His family said it was the result of a Covid-19 infection that Pele, who is fully vaccinated, contracted three weeks ago.

Pele "continues improving progressively, especially the respiratory infection," his medical team said in a statement.

"He remains in a standard room, with stable vital signs, conscious and with no new complications."

"The King" got a moving tribute Tuesday from the Brazilian national team after they danced their way to a dazzling 4-1 win over South Korea in the World Cup, securing a spot in the quarter-finals.

Neymar and team returned to the pitch after the match with a banner marked "Pele!" with a picture of the football icon celebrating Brazil's 1970 World Cup championship -- the third of the country's record five titles.

Pele, the only player in history to win three World Cups, had earlier posted a message to the team on Instagram, telling them he would be cheering them on from the hospital.

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