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Pele's health worsens as loved ones of Brazilian soccer legend rally to his bedside

"We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world!" daughter Kely Nascimento told his fans.
Pelé visits the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona
Pelé visits the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017.Xavi Torrent / Getty Images for Pelé

Pelé's loved ones rushed to his bedside in Brazil on Wednesday as the cancer-stricken soccer icon's condition appeared to worsen.

Pelé, 82, is receiving "elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions" stemming from the cancer he has been fighting for more than a year, doctors at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo said in a statement.

Kely Nascimento, one of his daughters, said Pelé will stay in the hospital with his family during Christmas.

“Insta family, our Christmas at home has been suspended. We decided with doctors that, for many reasons, it will be best for us to stay here, with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us,” she wrote on Instagram.

“We will even make some caipirinhas (no kidding). We love you and we will give up an update next week.”

Nascimento said the worldwide tributes and messages of support that have been pouring in for her dad are a "huge comfort," because "we know we are not alone"

"We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world!" she added.

The man born Edson Arantes do Nascimento — but known globally simply as Pelé — has been undergoing chemotherapy since he had a colon tumor removed in September last year.

Pelé is the sport's most famous player, having led Brazil to World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

France fell in penalties to Argentina in the World Cup final Sunday in Qatar as Les Bleus fell just short of winning back-to-back titles, a feat not accomplished since Pelé's 1962 side did it.

Pelé scored 77 goals for his national team, a high career mark that Neymar of Brazil tied at the recently concluded World Cup.