Pelé’s loved ones rushed to his bedside in Brazil on Wednesday, as the cancer-stricken soccer icon’s condition appeared to worsen.
The 82-year-old is receiving “elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions,” stemming from the cancer he’s been fighting for more than a year, doctors at Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement.
Kely Nascimento, one of his daughters, said Pelé will stay in the hospital during Christmas with his family.
“Insta family, our Christmas at home has been suspended. We decided with doctors that, for many reasons, it will be best for us to stay here, with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us,” she wrote on Instagram.
“We will even make some caipirinhas (no kidding). We love you and we will give up an update next week.”
Nascimento said the worldwide tributes and messages of support that have been pouring in for her dad is a “huge comfort” because “we know we are not alone”
“We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world!” she added.
The man born Edson Arantes do Nascimento — but known globally simply as Pelé — has been undergoing chemotherapy since he had a colon tumor removed in September last year.
Pelé is the sport’s most famous player, having led Brazil to World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
France fell in penalties to Argentina in the World Cup final Sunday in Qatar as Les Bleus fell just short of winning back-to-back titles, a feat not accomplished since Pelé’s 1962 side.
Pelé scored 77 goals for his national team, a high career mark that was recently tied by Neymar at this recently concluded World Cup.
David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Kurt Chirbas and Associated Press contributed.
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