Nearing 80, Pele says happy to be 'lucid'

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Brazil record scorer Pele.
Brazil record scorer Pele.

Days away from turning 80, Brazilian football legend Pele said he was happy for his good mental health in a video sent to the media Tuesday.

"I thank God for giving me the health to make it this far lucid. Not very intelligent, but lucid," he joked in the short video, released ahead of his milestone birthday Friday.

"I hope when I die God will welcome me the same way I've been welcomed all over the world because of our beloved football," he added.

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Pele has struggled with poor physical health in recent years.

The three-time World Cup champion (1958, 1962 and 1970) has been in and out of hospital for various issues.

Last year he traveled to Paris for a promotional appearance with French star Kylian Mbappe, but had to be hospitalized shortly after for kidney problems.

In 2014, he was placed in intensive care for dialysis after contracting a severe urinary infection.

The Brazilian great, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has only one kidney, after a broken rib during a match forced doctors to remove the other.

He has also suffered a series of hip problems, and has taken to using a walker at his increasingly rare public appearances.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 10078 votes
Cricket
11% - 2706 votes
Football
19% - 4557 votes
Athletics
2% - 596 votes
Boxing
1% - 228 votes
Cycling
2% - 554 votes
Golf
5% - 1188 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2002 votes
Tennis
3% - 814 votes
Water sports
1% - 214 votes
American sports
1% - 299 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 776 votes
Vote