A close adviser to Brazilian football legend Pele has denied a report indicating he was taken to a hospital this week after collapsing due to exhaustion.
“I don’t know who invented that news. He went to and from Rio de Janeiro this week by car and it was stressful, a tiring trip. He didn’t feel bad. He’s at home doing physical therapy,” Jose Fornos Rodrigues, known as “Pepito,” told EFE.
Pele, a three-time World Cup champion who is regarded by many as the greatest player of all time, canceled a scheduled trip this week to London because he was fatigued after arriving in Sao Paulo from Rio.
“A round trip to London would have been even more exhausting. He’s fine,” Pepito said.
Pele’s family members also said when approached by Brazilian media that they were unaware the former football great had been hospitalised.
Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pele undergoes routine tests and evaluations, denied the ex-player had been admitted this week.
England’s Football Writers’ Association issued an “important notice” on Friday indicating the 77-year-old football icon had collapsed and undergone a series of tests that appeared to suggest he was suffering from “severe exhaustion.”
“In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion. He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery,” the notice said.
“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion and everybody at the Football Writers’ Association wishes Pele a swift and full recovery,” it added.
“Understandably, his medical situation prevents him from traveling to London for the Football Writers’ Association Tribute Night on Sunday evening at The Savoy.”