Rio De Janeiro, Feb 11: Pele is suffering from a "kind of depression" as poor health and mobility make him loath to leave his home, the football legend's son said.
Brazil's three-time World Cup winner has suffered a series of health problems in recent years, including a urinary tract infection that left him hospitalized for 13 days last April. The 79-year-old former Santos and New York Cosmos forward has also encountered complications related to hip replacement surgery and now needs a frame to walk. "He is very sheepish, reclusive," his son Edinho told TV Globo.
"Imagine, he's the King, he was always such an imposing figure and today he can't walk properly. He's embarrassed, he doesn't want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house." Edinho, who also played for Santos as a goalkeeper in the 1990s, added that his father had not properly recovered from an operation in 2012 during which a part of the hip bone was removed and replaced with a titanium prosthesis.
"He's pretty fragile," Edinho said. "He had a hip replacement and didn't have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation. So he has this problem with mobility and that has set off a kind of depression." Pele scored a world record tally of 1,281 goals in a 1,363-match professional career that spanned 21 years. He was capped 91 times for Brazil and scored 77 international goals. XINHUA