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Pele ’embarrassed’ to leave house due to illness

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A true legend of the game, Pele is now “embarrassed” to leave his own home according to his son.

The former Brazilian national team star is now 79 years old and his health has declined in recent years.

Pele, alongside Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, is regarded as one of the best players in history, if not the best.

His son Edinho told TV Globo that Pele is not in a great place right now as he struggles to walk after a hip replacement and either needs a walking frame or wheelchair to get around.

“He is very sheepish, reclusive,” Edinho explained. “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. He’s pretty fragile. 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’s health has been a huge concern in recent years as he had prostate surgery in 2015 and has been in and out of hospital.

He scored a record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearing during his incredible career which spanned 21 years and saw him win three World Cups with Brazil as he scored 77 times in 91 outings for the Selecao.

Pele will no doubt be getting plenty more visits from close friends and the soccer community in the coming days and weeks as they try to rally around him and help him get through this tough time.

The former Santos and New York Cosmos striker is an inspiration to so many in his homeland and across the world and hearing about his struggles via his son should spark a huge reaction of love and warmth heading his way.

For so many years Pele brought joy and happiness to the homes of so many around the planet through his play on the pitch, now is surely the time for people to send messages of support to his home.

Get well soon, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

Report: Messi will not trigger exit clause this summer

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Barcelona is confident that Lionel Messi is not going anywhere, but the best attacker of his generation and probably ever will not sign a new deal before the end of his current contract.

Yes, that means Barca risks losing him on a free, but the club isn’t too worried abut it (at least publicly).

[ MORE: La Liga latest ]

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu says Barcelona will offer Messi a lifetime contract, but Marca is reporting both good and bad news on that front.

The good? Messi won’t trigger his exit clause in June.

The bad? He won’t sign a new deal until next season.

The report says leaving Barca “hasn’t crossed his mind,” and that he “has no intention” of doing so. That would make the new contract a bit of a moot point; If Barca knows he will stay, they just write down the present highest salary in the world on a piece of paper at that time and he signs.

“If Leo feels strong and ambitious, extended his contract indefinitely will surely be the will of everyone involved,” Bartomeu said. “I always compare him with Pele. Pele was a one-club man in Brazil. I have no doubt that, after Messi hangs up his boots, he will stay linked to this club for the rest of his life.”

Messi has 612 goals and 247 assists in 698 appearances for Barcelona. That is pretty good.

Soccer great Pele reportedly hospitalized in Paris

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PARIS (AP) Soccer great Pele has reportedly been hospitalized in Paris for medical exams after feeling ill following a meeting with Kylian Mbappe in the French capital.

According to Brazilian TV network Globo, Pele had a cold and was medicated at his hotel. He woke up still feeling ill and was taken to a hospital on Wednesday.

[ MORE: LUNA Bar pledges to make up roster pay gap for USWNT ]

The 78-year-old Pele and Mbappe, the French forward who has drawn comparisons with the Brazilian great after helping France win the World Cup last summer as a teenager, met as part of their ambassador roles for a Swiss watchmaker.

According to Globo, Pele’s fever has passed and he was expected to be released within hours. The network said Pele’s schedule has not been changed.

Pele’s representatives did not answer questions from The Associated Press but referred to Globo’s report when asked to confirm whether the three-time World Cup winner was hospitalized.

Pele has frequently been admitted to hospitals in the last few years for kidney and prostate procedures.

Pele’s meeting with Mbappe had initially been planned for last November but was postponed because of the Brazilian’s poor health at the time.

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WORLD CUP: Pele comes of age as Brazil wins 1958 World Cup

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It took a 17-year-old phenom to finally turn things around for Brazil.

Present at each World Cup since its start in 1930, Brazil had always fallen short – most notably in 1950 when the host country lost the final match to Uruguay.

The trauma of losing that game in front of a crowd some have estimated at more than 200,000 in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro was so overwhelming that Brazil decided to ditch its white shirts in favor of what has become the iconic yellow shirt.

It wasn’t long before Brazil became champion. In 1958, Brazil won its first World Cup in thrilling fashion, defeating host Sweden 5-2 in the final and in the process becoming the first team to win the tournament outside its continent.

The tournament is largely remembered for the emergence of 17-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Pele, as he is better known, hadn’t actually started the tournament, but coach Vicente Feola was forced into making changes after his team labored to a 0-0 draw against England.

The changes worked, none more so than the introduction of the agile and supremely skillful Pele. What astounded those who saw him was just how calm someone so young could be at moments of high drama.

Pele scored the only goal as Brazil beat Wales in the quarterfinals and he then netted a hat trick in Brazil’s 5-2 semifinal victory over France. He added a further two goals in the final, with Brazil playing in blue because Sweden was wearing yellow.

His first goal, in the 55th minute, put Brazil ahead 3-1 and effectively ended the match as a contest. It is as memorable as any scored in a World Cup final. Controlling a looping ball into the penalty area with his thigh, Pele flipped it over his head, spun around and volleyed the ball past the Sweden goalkeeper.

A star was well and truly born.

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Pele hospitalized overnight in Brazil

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The most famous soccer player in the world had a scare last night as he was hospitalized in Brazil for “severe exhaustion.”

Pele, 77, was set to travel to London this weekend to be honored by the Football Writers Association, though it looks like that trip has now been postponed.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion,” a FWA statement said. “He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery.

“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion.”

Here’s to hoping Pele makes a full recovery.

[MORE: USMNT centerback heads to Championship club]