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‘Another night with him’: Pele’s family is almost complete at his bedside

Pele’s bed is almost complete on Sunday, Christmas Day, next to the bed of the Brazilian soccer legend, whose condition has recently deteriorated, according to posts on social media.

“One more night with him,” Kelly Nascimento, daughter of King Pele, wrote on Sunday night, in a new message posted on Instagram, accompanying a photo taken at the Albert Einstein Hospital with her siblings and relatives.

“Even in grief, we just have to be grateful. Thank you for being together, thank you all for your love, thank you for being able to be here with him now. Merry Christmas,” she added.

The photo also shows Flavia, Celeste, Edinho and Joshua, all children of the historical “10” of the Selecao, as well as Jemima McMahon, daughter of one of his wives.

Pele, 82, who suffers from colon cancer discovered in September 2021, has been hospitalized in São Paulo since the end of November. In their latest bulletin, his doctors reported on Wednesday a “progression” of cancer as well as “kidney and heart failure.”

On Sunday, one of his children, Joshua Arantes, joined his three sisters, a brother, and several of their children at Albert Einstein Hospital.

“Another one has arrived,” Kelly Nascimento announced on Instagram, under a photo of her and her brother kissing and smiling.

AFP journalists noted that no particular activity was observed in front of the hospital where legend Pele, the only soccer player to win the World Cup three times (1958, 1962, 1970), was.

During Christmas Eve just after midnight, Kelly Nascimento posted a photo on Instagram showing his wife, Marcia Aoki, and other family members in the former footballer’s room, but without him.

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“Almost everyone. Merry Christmas. Gratitude, Love, Unity, Family. The essence of Christmas. Thank you all for all the love and light you’ve sent us,” she wrote in the caption for this photo.

His brother Edinho had earlier posted a photo on the same social network where he takes Pele by the hand, with the caption: “Dad, my strength is with you.”

Edinho, the technical director of the Londrina Football Club, in the southern state of Paraná, joined his sisters Flavia and Kelly Nascimento, who have been with Pele a lot in recent days in the hospital.

Edinho made the trip despite having apologized the day before for not being able to stay with his father. “I would like to be there, but today I have obligations here. I’m not a doctor, I can’t be of much help,” he told the Estadao daily on Friday.

Late Friday, Kelly Nascimento posted on Instagram a gif of Pele hugging him on his hospital bed, only half of his face visible and fitted with nasal cannulas to aid breathing. “Another night together, we are still here, in jihad and in faith,” the caption read.

Before Pele’s disturbing health report was published on Wednesday, his two daughters announced they would spend Christmas in hospital with the former striker for “various reasons”.

Pele was hospitalized on November 29 with a respiratory infection following Covid contamination, and to re-evaluate his cancer treatment, his chemotherapy was ineffective.

Last Sunday, Kelly posted a photo of Flavia massaging her father’s left foot while he watched the World Cup final on TV.

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After the match, the Argentine “football” icon congratulated Lionel Messi on his “deserved” coronation against France (3-3 ab, tab 4-2).

During this World Cup, he saw Neymar equal his record of goals with the Seleção (77).

The man considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time has received numerous messages of support since his hospitalization, in particular from French superstar Kylian Mbappe, who called for “prayers for the king”.