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'We wish him much health' – Pele gets message of support from Brazil's World Cup squad

By John Skilbeck

Doha, December 1: Pele is in the thoughts of Brazil's World Cup stars as he undergoes treatment in hospital, head coach Tite said on Thursday (December 1).

Three-time World Cup winner Pele, regarded among the greatest players of all time, is receiving medical care at home in Brazil.

The 82-year-old underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon last year, and has been in and out of hospital since.

His daughter, Kely Nascimento, has said there is "no surprise or emergency" over her father's hospitalisation after he was admitted this week.

Particularly coming at a time when a World Cup is taking place and he is not present, the news of Pele needing hospital attention has caused concern for many.

Brazil great Pele hospitalised amid battle with cancerBrazil great Pele hospitalised amid battle with cancer

Tite read out a statement before taking questions at Brazil's press conference, saying: "We all wish a lot of health to Pele.

"We found out the news from the press. He’s the biggest representative of the national team and we wish him much health. That is the feeling of all the squad, we wish Pele the very best."

Pele's daughter said in her statement on Wednesday that "the media is freaking out again", adding that she planned to visit her father in the new year, with her brothers visiting at present.

As Brazil got their tournament under way last week, Pele sent the squad a message of good luck. He was a World Cup winner in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

He wrote on Instagram: "Today we start writing a new story. No matter the size and tradition of the opponents: we must respect and play each match with the focus of a final.

"It is important to play beautifully, yes, but it is also essential to leave everything on the pitch.

"Today, we will be more than 200 million hearts beating as one, vibrating with each achievement of our Selecao.

"I am sending all positive energies to you. I'm sure we'll have a happy ending. God bless you. Bring this trophy home!"

Brazil have begun their campaign with a 2-0 win over Serbia and a 1-0 success against Switzerland, rounding off their Group G campaign against Cameroon on Friday.

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Story first published: Thursday, December 1, 2022, 19:31 [IST]
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