How is Pele? How old is Pele? Health latest and what Brazil legend has said amid illness

There have been concerns over the health of a man many consider to be the greatest football of all-time.

Football legend Pele is used to being in the limelight after enjoying a goal-laden career that sees him considered as one of, if not the greatest player of all-time.

But the recent talk has not been on his on-field successes or his post-career support for charitable causes around the world. The recent discussions have been of his health and concerns the game could be set to loose one of its true legends.

Who is Pele?

The Brazilian is rightly seen as a legend of the game after enjoying a stellar career with club and country. After breaking into the Santos side at the age of just 15, Pele went on to earn a first call-up to the Brazil national team less than a year later as he marked his debut with a goal in a 2-1 defeat against Argentina. It was the start of an international career that would deliver three World Cup wins and a whole host of international honours.

17-year-old Brazilian forward Pele (L) kicks the ball past two Welsh defenders during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Brazil and Wales 19 June 1958 in Goteborg. Pele scored the only goal of the match to help Brazil advance to the semifinals. AFP PHOTO/INTERCONTINENTALE (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

By the time he bowed out of the international game in the aftermath of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup win, Pele had scored 77 goals in 92 appearances. His form at club level followed a similar path as he scored 618 goals in 636 appearances for Santos as they became two-time Copa Libertadores winners, six-time Brazilian champions and two-time Intercontinental Cup winners. Further success followed as Pele brought down the curtain on a remarkable career in the North American Soccer League with the New York Cosmos.

How old is Pele?

Born in Tres Coracoes on the 23rd October 1940, Pele is now 82 years old.

What has been said about his health?

Pele has reportedly suffered a number of health issues over the last decade including a urinary tract infection, an operation to remove kidney stones and a hip operation. But the most severe was the diagnosis of a tumour on the right side of his colon. After having surgery to remove the tumour, Pele underwent chemotherapy last year, but was reportedly taken to hospital last month with ‘general swelling’, as well as cardiac issues. There were further reports over the weekend the Brazil legend had been moved into end-of-life care.

What has Pele said about his health?

In reponse to recent talk of his health, Pele released a statement from the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paolo, saying: “I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received. I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you all over the world keeps me full of energy. And watch Brazil in the World Cup, too.”

What have other people said about Pele’s health?

“Pele was my childhood idol and obviously we are all receiving the news about his health condition,” said former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"The project for the event is fantastic but the community will take advantage of it after the World Cup, which is a great idea."

“We wish him a speedy recovery. I spoke to his agent recently and I didn’t see him pessimistic. He was surprised by the news that he is not feeling well. He told me that he went back to the hospital, but that he was not in danger. Let’s hope he has a speedy recovery.”

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann added: “We pray for him. Let’s hope he recovers as soon as possible and that he stays with us for many, many years to come. We have met many times, he is a wonderful person and he was the greatest of all. There is no doubt about it.”