Nov 27, 2014 1:38 PM

Pele doing 'fine' after move to special care unit

The Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) Brazilian great Pele, who is being treated for a urinary tract infection, is in good condition and is expected to leave the hospital in the next few days, his spokesman said Thursday.

The Albert Einstein hospital released a statement saying the 74-year-old Pele was transferred to a "special care" unit after his condition became unstable, but his spokesman and personal aide denied his health condition deteriorated.

"He is fine," Jose Fornos Rodrigues, known as Pepito, told The Associated Press. "The problem was that he was receiving too many visitors and that wasn't helping, so they transferred him to a calmer area to continue receiving the proper treatment. He should be out of the hospital in a few days."

The hospital's statement created a scare in Brazil, with local media widely reporting that Pele's condition had worsened. The story was highlighted by most of the country's top web portals. Widely known as the greatest footballer of all time, Pele is a national hero in the South American country.

The hospital's press office had already said the three-time World Cup champion was not in an intensive care unit and was just being monitored.

Pele was admitted to the hospital on Monday for a medical evaluation and was diagnosed with the infection. He was being treated with antibiotics.

Pele was in the same hospital less than 15 days ago to undergo surgery to remove kidney stones.

He has enjoyed good health in recent years despite needing to undergo surgeries for a hip replacement and a detached retina.

Pele remains a worldwide ambassador to football and is active with his many businesses across the globe. He still participates in many advertising campaigns and is present at most major football tournaments.

He won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958, '62 and 1970 and is known as the game's most prolific scorer, credited with 1,281 goals in 1,363 career matches.


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