Brazilian football legend Pele’s family members gathered at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo on Saturday, where the 82-year-old, widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, has been since late November.

Doctors said this week that Pele’s cancer had advanced and that he requires care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction. His family said he would remain in a Sao Paulo hospital over Christmas.

Pele has received regular medical treatment since a tumour was removed from his colon in September last year.

“Almost all of them. Merry Christmas. Gratitude, love, togetherness, family. The essence of Christmas. We thank you all for all the love and light you send,” his daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram with a picture of their family in the hospital.

Pele’s son Edinho, who played in goal for Santos in the 1990s, posted a picture of himself holding his father’s hand to Instagram on Saturday, with the caption “Father… my strength is yours.” 

Following Argentina’s win in Sunday’s World Cup final, Pele posted a picture on social media of their team lifting the trophy, and hailed performances from squad leader Lionel Messi, France’s rising star Kylian Mbappe, and surprise semi-finalists Morocco.

“Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way,” he said. “What a gift it was to watch this spectacle of the future of our sport.”

Brazilian players had during a quarter-final in Qatar unfurled a massive banner on the pitch with an image of the football great during his 1970 World Cup win. It simply read: “Pele!”

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