RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian soccer great Pelé will be cheering on his country's national team on Monday in its World Cup game against South Korea from the hospital, where he is being treated for a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19.
"In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father," the three-time World Cup winner wrote on Twitter, alongside a photograph of a then-17-year-old Pelé. "I know that today many have made similar promises and are also seeking their first World Cup. I'll be watching the game from hospital and I'll be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!"
The 82-year-old Pelé was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday but is under no imminent risk of death, according to several family members.
The soccer great is also undergoing chemotherapy in his fight against cancer. He is expected to leave the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo once he fully recovers from the respiratory infection, although neither the family nor the hospital know when that might happen.
Brazilian player Neymar scored a goal in his return from injury and Brazil beat South Korea 4-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Neymar converted a first-half penalty for his 76th goal with Brazil and move one shy of Pelé all-time scoring record with the national team.
Vinícius Júnior, Richarlison and Lucas Paquetá also scored in the first half for Brazil. The Selecao has made it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the eighth straight time.