After rumors that Brazilian football legend Pelé was receiving end-of-life care in a hospital, the doctors treating him said on Tuesday that the sports icon’s condition is rapidly improving as he responds to treatment well. 

The doctors treating Pelé at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Brazil have released a statement updating the public on the health of the Brazilian icon, saying that there has been gradual improvement in his condition due to his response to the treatment, according to CNN

“The patient continues to evolve with progressive improvement of his general condition, especially the respiratory infection,” they said in the statement. "He remains in a common room, with stable vital signs, conscious and without new complications."

This positive report on Pelé’s health comes as rumors swirled that the former football player was apparently facing end-of-life care from his doctors due to his failing health, something that was refuted both by Pelé himself and Pelé’s daughters, the BBC reported. 

His daughters Kely and Flavia confirmed during an interview that their father had contracted COVID and had an adverse reaction to it due to having gone through chemotherapy, causing a lung infection that prompted him to be hospitalized. “He is sick, he is old, but at the moment he is there because of a lung infection, and when he gets better he will go back home again. He is not saying goodbyes in the hospital at the moment,” Kely said. 

The legendary Brazilian also confirmed the hospitalization and his health through an Instagram post, saying that “strong, with a lot of hope” before commenting on his continued support for Brazil in the recent World Cup. 

Pelé’s legendary career included four appearances at the World Cup for Brazil, winning three times in 1958, 1962, and 1970. The current players for Brazil’s team paid tribute to the "King" after their recent match win against South Korea at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Pele Representation image. Photo by: Reuters/Lucas Jackson