Pele has recorded a video message from his hospital room to thank his fans around the world for praying for him while he underwent treatment for a urinary tract infection.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, from all over the world, who worried about my health,” Pele said in the video posted today on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. “Thank God, I’m fine. I have recovered, I’m here with my family.”
The video, which the hospital said was recorded on Wednesday, begins with Pele playing a guitar while seated next to family members. Then he speaks both in Portuguese and in English.
“Don’t worry, thank you very much,” the 74-year-old Pele said. “I know everybody worried about my health, but I am OK.” Pele has been hospitalised since November 24 after being diagnosed with a urinary tract infection that stemmed from a November 13 surgery to remove kidney stones.
“Thank you everybody who has been praying for me and my family,” he said.
Doctors at the Albert Einstein hospital said in a statement released today that Pele’s condition is good and there are no more signs of the infection.
Pele stayed several days in an intensive care unit to undergo hemodialysis to help support his only kidney. The three-time World Cup champion had one kidney removed when he was still a player.
He remained in a semi-intensive care unit but was not on kidney support treatment anymore.
Pele yesterday announced that he signed a lifetime contract with Brazilian club Santos, giving his former team the right to use his image in marketing, publicity and social media campaigns. The agreement also includes a licensing deal which allows Santos and Pele to create and release products together.
A national hero and a worldwide ambassador to the game, Pele is regarded by many as the greatest player of all time. He is known as soccer’s most prolific scorer with 1,281 goals in 1,363 career matches.