Concerned soccer supporters in Brazil held a vigil for Pele on Sunday in front of the hospital where the 82-year-old is being treated for a lung infection despite rumors that he had been transferred to an end-of-life ward.
More than 100 people reportedly gathered in front of the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo to pray for the recovery of probably the greatest football player to ever play the game, according to VOA.
Most of them held signs reading “Torcida Joven” (Young Fans) and “Long live the king!” as they waited outside the hospital in the Morumbi neighborhood in largely silent fashion.
“We are a spiritual force praying for the sporting idol as he wages one of the toughest battles of his life,” fan Marcos Bispo dos Santos told AFP.
Since his colon cancer diagnosis in 2021, Pele has gone in and out of the hospital several times, with his stay on Tuesday being the most recent.
Since then, the three-time winner has received good wishes from the football community.
The football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento was responding well to care, according to a statement from the hospital on Saturday.
“Pele has had a good response to care without any worsening in the clinical picture in the last 24 hours,” the statement said.
In addition, the Santos legend expressed optimism for his recovery and urged everyone to do the same.
“My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive. I’m strong, with a lot of hope, and I follow my treatment as usual,” he said in a post on his verified Facebook page.