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Brazilian football legend Pelé hospitalised in Paris with infection

Frack Fife, AFP | Brazilian football legend Pelé takes part in a meeting with PSG forward Kylian Mbappé at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris on April 2, 2019.

Brazilian football great Pelé was hospitalised in Paris with a strong fever but his condition is not life-threatening and he should be released "within a couple of days", his spokesman said on Wednesday.


The 78-year-old was suffering from a urinary infection and being treated with antibiotics, said his friend and spokesman Pepito Fornos, adding that the Brazilian legend was “doing well”.

"Everything is under control. Everything's fine," Fornos told reporters.

Pelé was admitted late on Tuesday as a precaution after attending an event in the French capital with France's World-Cup winning youngster Kylian Mbappé.

He was still in hospital on Wednesday evening, though in a possible sign he was making a recovery, he said on Twitter: "I met Kylian Mbappe and his parents last night in Paris at @Hublot event. We talked goals, World Cups and watches. Great company!"

Earlier, Mbappé had written on social media: "I had the chance this evening to spend a once-in-a-lifetime moment with the living legend @Pele."

The declining health of the player known as 'O Rei' (The King) has been a cause for concern in recent times, and the planned meeting with Mbappe had already been postponed last November.

Pelé spent time in intensive care in Brazil in late 2014 following a kidney complaint and later admitted he did not feel up to the task of lighting the flame at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

‘The King will always remain King’

Pelé, revered by many as soccer's greatest player ever, is alone in winning the World Cup three times, first lifting the trophy aged 17. The Brazilian was swift to praise Mbappé after he set last year's World Cup in Russia alight with his electric speed and goalscoring.

Mbappé became the youngest player (19) to score two goals in a World Cup game since Pelé in 1958. He also became the first teenager since Pelé to score in a World Cup final.

"If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again," Pelé tweeted at the time.

Mbappé replied: "The King will always remain King."

The Paris Saint-Germain forward told Tuesday's event he would never match the Brazil great's scoring tally during his career. Pele says he has scored 1,025 goals.

"Even with the goals in playgrounds, goals on the PlayStation, I could never equal (that)," the 20-year-old said at the sponsors' event.


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