Fans held up a banner honoring Pelé, and then the Brazilian national team did the same.
In the 10th minute of Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea in the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, fans in the stands behind one of the goals opened a large banner with an image of the Brazilian soccer legend, who is currently hospitalized. After the victory, the Brazilian national team stood on the pitch holding a Pelé banner of their own.
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The 82-year-old Pelé, Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals, has been in the hospital since Tuesday to treat a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19. Pelé has also been undergoing chemotherapy after having a colon tumor removed in September 2021.
There have been conflicting reports about the severity of Pelé’s condition, with newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reporting Saturday that his chemotherapy is not working and that doctors had decided to put him on palliative care. Pelé’s family has said he is under no imminent risk of death, according to the Associated Press.
Fans first unveiled Pelé’s “Get Well Soon” banner ahead of Brazil’s game on Friday.
On Monday, Pelé tweeted that he would be tuning in to Brazil’s round of 16 matchup against South Korea.
“I’ll be watching the game from hospital and I’ll be rooting for each one of you,” he wrote on Twitter. “Good luck!”
Brazil is looking to capture its first World Cup title since 2002.
Pelé, who played for Brazil from 1957 to 1971, is the only player to have won three World Cups.
With The Associated Press