February 3, 2023

‘He’s an inspiration in our game, an incredible footballer and an incredible person’

Harry Kane has sent his best wishes to Pele and revealed the impact the footballer has had on his career, as news reports on Saturday suggested he is receiving end of life care.

Reports in Brazil claim the 82-year-old, who went into hospital last week as he continues to battle bowel cancer, is receiving measures to relieve pain in an “end-of life palliative care” ward after no longer responding to chemotherapy treatment. He has been battling bowl cancer.

Asked about the news report, the England captain said: “First and foremost, we send our best wishes to him and his family as well.

“He’s an inspiration in our game, an incredible footballer and an incredible person.”

Asked about the advice Pele had given him in 2015 ahead of his first international appearance, in which he urged the Tottenham striker to never believe he is the best player in the world and keep learning, Kane said: “To hear those words back then from him was really special for me.

“And I always feel like I’m someone who is always learning and will continue to learn for the rest of my career, so he was spot on with his advice.

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“Of course, sad to hear that news, but we wish him well, not just me but the whole England set-up as well.”

Pele was admitted into the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday suffering from “general swelling” and “heart failure”, but an update on Thursday said he was in a “stable” condition.

His daughter, Kely, insisted at the time that there was “no cause for alarm”.

On Saturday, Folha de Sao Paulo reported that the three-time World Cup winner is no longer responding to the chemotherapy treatment he has been undergoing since last September.

They further reported that Pele is in palliative care and won’t be subjected to invasive tests or treatment.

On Friday, the Albert Einstein Hospital released a statement saying Pele had been diagnosed with a “respiratory infection” that was being treated with antibiotics and would remain in hospital for a few days.

In a post on Pele’s Instagram account on Friday, he responded to a “Get well soon” message that was projected onto a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is taking place, writing: “Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes.”

Pele – whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento – is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time.

He scored 77 times in 92 games for Brazil and won three World Cup. For his Brazilian club, Santos, Pele scored 643 goals in 659 official matches.

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