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Pele's family gather at hospital bedside for Christmas

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Family members visited the legendary Pele on Saturday at the Sao Paulo hospital where he is suffering from worsening cancer as well as kidney and heart problems, according to a social media post by his daughter.

Edinho, Pele's son – who was recently appointed coach of Serie B football club Londrina, based in Parana in the north – arrived on Christmas Eve at the medical centre, where he joined his sisters Flavia and Kely Nascimento.

"He arrived," Kely wrote on her Instagram next to a photo with Edinho, and another with daughters Sophia and Stephany.

The ex-goalkeeper arrived a day after having explained his absence at his father's side to local media.

"I would like to be present, but I am committed to my mission here. I'm not a doctor, I couldn't really help much," he said in an interview published on Friday by the daily Estadao.

That same day, Kely shared a photo of herself hugging her 82-year-old father in the hospital with the caption "one more night together."

On Wednesday, the Albert Einstein Hospital, where the three-time World Cup winner is staying, announced that his colon cancer was showing "progression" and he needed "more extensive care to treat kidney and heart failure."

Earlier that day his daughters had announced he would not be home for Christmas.

The atmosphere was calm outside of the hospital on Saturday, according to AFP.

Pele is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time and has received several messages of support since his hospitalization, including from the French star Kylian Mbappe, who called on followers to "pray for the King."

Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo on November 29 for what his medical team called a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been receiving since having surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021.

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