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Cesar Sampaio wants the world to say a prayer for Pele

A picture of Pele held up by Brazil fans during a match in Qatar (Peter Byrne/PA)
A picture of Pele held up by Brazil fans during a match in Qatar (Peter Byrne/PA)

Brazil assistant coach Cesar Sampaio has urged the world to say a prayer and send “positive vibes” to Pele.

Concerns over the health of three-time World Cup winner Pele were growing after he entered hospital on Tuesday with news outlets in Brazil reporting that he had been moved to palliative care.

An update from the doctors treating Pele at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo on Saturday evening presented a more positive picture regarding his treatment for colon cancer before the 82-year-old posted on his Instagram page that he was “strong” in a message calling for calm.

Ahead of Brazil’s round of 16 tie with South Korea on Monday, both Tite and his assistant passed on messages of goodwill to their compatriot.

“I am sorry I should have started this press conference talking about Pele,” Tite said.

“Health, Pele, health. That is all I can give you. It is something we all feel and it is a difficult moment.”

Former Santos and Brazil midfielder Sampaio added: “This is a moment where all we can do, regardless of your religion, is ask you all to please say a prayer, do whatever you do and please send him very positive vibes.

“He is a person who has influenced my development not only as an athlete but as a man and human being.”

Pele’s doctors revealed in a statement on Saturday night that he was stable and responding well to treatment.

He underwent surgery to remove a tumour during September 2021.

Tite used his press conference to recall the time he hugged Pele for the first time in 2018.

Cameroon v Brazil – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group G – Lusail Stadium
Brazil manager Tite said he was shaking when he met Pele for the first time (PA)

“I will tell you about my feelings and please excuse me for doing that,” he said.

“This is possibly the only person who I was actually shaking when I greeted him. I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart. It was a very emotional moment for me.

“My hands were sweating, my heartbeat increased and I said ‘wow, I will have the opportunity to greet Pele’. He is the person who represents the human representation of everyone.”