Pele Hospitalized | Business Manager Claims The 80-Year-Old Soccer Icon Is Fine

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Brazilian soccer legend Pele has been hospitalized for six days with an undisclosed health problem, but his business manager Joe Fraga claims the 80-year-old is not seriously ill.

‘Full battery of tests/scans/colonoscopy/blood etc,’ Fraga wrote in a message. ‘He doesn’t do everything in one day.’

In typical Pele fashion, the icon didn’t want to alarm people and didn’t want to go to the hospital.

His Tweet downplayed the trip as well.

Last year Pele’s son said his father was depressed over his poor health and reluctant to leave the house because he cannot walk without assistance.

Of course, Pele later publicly denied that statement. 

 

 

Americans may not be in tune with the international history of soccer, but the name “Pele” transcends the game and has been a household name on the global sports stage for decades. 

He’s a living legend, the only soccer player to win three World Cups, and news of his illness definitely rocked the futbol world as well as the country of Brazil. There have been numerous movies and documentaries around Pele’s life. 

 

 

King of Kings

Pele’s unofficial record of 767 career goals was broken by Cristiano Ronaldo in March of 2021. Pele states on his own Instagram page that he has actually scored a total of 1,283 goals. This number, however, includes goals scored in amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.

With the class and love of the game that he’s always exhibited, Pele congratulated Ronaldo. 

“Life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having. I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone,” Pele wrote on Instagram.

“Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today.”

FIFA does not keep an official record of who is leading the all-time scoring list. Safe to say, today’s score keeping is more more accurate than when Pele revolutionized the game.  

 

Cristiano Ronaldo: Grace & Greatness

If Ronaldo learned anything from Pele, it is his grace — especially in this matter. That’s why he refused to acknowledge the record at 757 as the world hastily rushed to anoint him as the new king. 

Ronaldo chose to acknowledge Pele’s 9 goals for Sao Paulo State Team, as well as his single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals.

“The World has changed since then and football has changed as well, but this doesn’t mean that we can just erase history according to our interests,” Ronaldo said. 

“I’m filled with joy and pride as I acknowledge the goal that put’s me on top of the World’s goal scoring list, overcoming Pelé’s record, something that I could never have dreamed of while growing up as a child from Madeira.”

 

The Road To Recovery

The Globo news site in Brazil said Pele was undergoing routine examinations in Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital when the undisclosed issue was detected. The scare came a few days after Pele was forced to refute reports he had fainted.

 

We sure wish he was still playing. 

 

 

Shout out to The GOAT. Blessings on a quick recovery and many more years of life.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.