Pele 'moved to end-of-life care' as football legend stops responding to chemotherapy

Brazilian football great Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, arrives at Guarulhos International Airport, in Guarulhos some 25km from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 9, 2019.

Football icon Pele has been moved to palliative care after becoming unresponsive to the chemotherapy he was given to combat his cancer, according to reports in Brazil.

The 82-year-old was taken to hospital last week and is now receiving pain relief on an end-of-life ward after his treatment for bowel cancer stopped working.

Pele has been staying at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo after being admitted on Tuesday with symptoms of ‘general swelling’ and ‘heart failure’.

Last week, a post on Pele’s Instagram was sent to reassure fans of any serious health problems as the Brazil legend wrote: “Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes!”

Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, also moved to reassure fans, writing on Instagram on Tuesday: “Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication. There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Year’s and promise to post some pictures.”

Despite the reassuring updates, Folha de Sao Paulo reported on Saturday that Pele is now not responding to the chemotherapy treatment he has received for months to battle his bowel cancer.

The report adds the former striker will not undergo invasive tests or treatment as he has been admitted to a ward for those with life-threatening diseases or conditions, or who require end-of-life care.

The news has led to other greats of the game passing on their messages to Pele. 

Kylian Mbappe wrote on Twitter “Pray for the King,” while fellow Brazil legend Rivaldo and current star Vinicius Jr simply added “Strength King”.

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