At the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, tens of thousands of singing and dancing Brazil fans have been supporting their side, but they have also been silently praying for their "king," Pele.

These supporters made a straightforward request for the Brazilian team when they easily defeated South Korea to go to the quarterfinals, which was to win the World Cup for Pele.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, has been battling colon cancer and was recently admitted to the hospital after contracting a respiratory infection. He was a member of the 1958, 1962, and 1970 Brazilian World Cup winning squads.

Arlem, a Rio de Janeiro-based Brazil supporter, said, pointing to an imaginary crown above her head, "For us, Pele is the king."

A Colombian football enthusiast named Flamenco saw Pele play in Mexico City when Brazil defeated Italy in the 1970 World Cup final. He told Al Jazeera, "Pele will always be the best footballer ever."

A Colombian couple named Ronnie and Mary Portillo who grew up watching Pele work his magic concurred.“As he grew in stature, he took the sport to new heights,” Mary said.

With 77 goals in 92 games, Pele is at the top of the list of all-time goal-scorers for Brazil.

The legend himself delivered the players an encouraging message before they hit the field at stadium 974 on Monday, Dec. 5. Pele informed the Brazil team that he will be watching the match from his hospital bed in a message posted on his Instagram.

The 82-year-old icon urged Brazil to extend their record of World Cup trophies by winning another one in Qatar.

A large Pele banner was held up by the Brazilian team while they celebrated their win with the fans.

The team then announced they would like to raise the trophy in Pele's honor after dedicating their victory to him.

The Selecao, as the Brazilian team is nicknamed, was cheered on by fans wearing yellow shirts who were jubilant about their side's victory. However, they experienced a different range of emotions just by hearing Pele's name mentioned.

“He put Brazil on the world map with his football, and brought many years of hope and joy to the Brazilian people,” said Pelaquim, a Sao Paulo native.

Representation image. Photo by: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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