by Rosa SULLEIRO
SAO PAULO: Brazil football legend Pele, who has been hospitalized for three days suffering from a urinary infection, reached out to his fans via social media Thursday to say he’s “doing fine.”
The Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said earlier that his condition had “improved” and that the 74-year-old — widely regarded as the greatest player of all time — was receiving renal treatment.
But contrary to the hospital’s assertion that he was in intensive care, Pele — whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento — said he had simply been moved to another room for increased privacy.
“I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine,” Pele said in a message published in English on his Facebook page and on Twitter (@Pele).
“I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious,” he added.
“I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only. While I appreciate all the visitors that came to see me, I really need to continue my treatment and recovery in peace.”
Pele said he would spend the upcoming holidays with family and looked forward to beginning 2015 “with renewed health,” adding he had “many international trips already planned.”
Earlier, after confirming that he was admitted on Monday, the hospital said that Pele’s medical tests showed the presence of a urinary infection.
“The clinical condition of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) has improved but he remains under intensive care,” it said in a statement.
Pele’s agent Jose Fornos said that the star was tired after receiving too many visits, and added that his treatment “could go on for eight days.”