Pele says he has recovered, thanks fans in video

Fri Dec 5, 2014 1:54pm EST
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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer great Pele said he was in good health in a video recorded at the Sao Paulo hospital where he has been treated for a urinary tract infection.

In the video, released on Friday, Pele smiled and strummed a guitar with family members by his side before assuring fans that he had recovered.

"I know everybody worried about my health, but I'm OK," he said in English, extending an invitation to fans around the world to visit the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"We're going to participate in the Games together," he said.

The three-time World Cup champion has been in the hospital for nearly two weeks and alarmed many when he was moved into a wing used for more intensive care. In the hospital's most recent update, doctors said on Thursday that his health was improving and they had removed a catheter used for dialysis.

The 74-year-old Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has suffered a series of health problems in the past decade that, among other things, have led to emergency eye surgery for a detached retina and a hip replacement.

(Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Brazilian soccer legend Pele attends a news conference to present the FIFA World Cup global "Trophy Tour" in Paris March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes