Brazil football great Pele is reluctant to leave his house because he cannot walk unaided due to his poor health, his son has said. The three-time World Cup winner, who will be 80 in October, received treatment in Paris last April for a urinary infection. Pele, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history, has had hip trouble for some time and now needs a frame to walk, with many of his recent public appearances in a wheelchair.
“He’s embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house,” his son Edinho told TV Globo in Brazil. “He is very sheepish, reclusive.” Edinho said that he had argued with his father because he had not done the physiotherapy called for after a hip operation. “He’s pretty fragile. He had a hip replacement and didn’t have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation,” his son added. “So he has this problem with mobility and that has set off a kind of depression. Imagine, he’s the king, he was always such an imposing figure and today he can’t walk properly.” This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the striker’s third World Cup title, won in Mexico in 1970 with what many people believe is the greatest team of all time.