My dad is a fighter, Pele's son says of cancer battle

Brazilian football legend Pele in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 12, 2014 AFP

Pele’s son Edinho took over as coach of minor club Londrina on Sunday and led the team to a 1-0 win before reassuring fans his soccer legend father was “a fighter” and giving his all in the battle against cancer.

Pele, 81, had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has been in and out of hospital for chemotherapy on a regular basis ever since.

A urinary infection meant his last stay in hospital was longer than planned but the three-times World Cup winner is now back at home near Santos, the city and club where he made his name.

“He’s good. He is in a tough battle over his health, but my father is a fighter, just as he has been his whole life,” Edinho told reporters. “He’s still fighting. Our family prays for him a lot and we’re hoping that he will recover."

Edinho, who played in goal for Santos in the 1990s, said he was unaware if his father watched Londrina’s 1-0 win over Tubarao in the Parana state championship.

“I confess that I don’t know,” Edinho said. “But he is going to find out once I tell him. We are cheering for him to above all get well as soon as possible.”

Edinho, 51, is normally Londrina’s Under-20 coach but was in temporary charge for Sunday’s game.

He is expected to return to his normal duties next week with the arrival of a new first-team coach.

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