November 29, 2014 / 2:07 PM / 4 years ago

Soccer legend Pelé's health improving, remains in intensive care

Brazilian soccer legend Pele laughs during the inauguration of a refurbished soccer field at the Mineira slum in Rio de Janeiro September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer legend Pelé’s health continued to improve on Saturday although he remained in an intensive care unit to allow doctors to monitor a urinary tract infection, his hospital said.

The three-times World Cup champion is receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood. He underwent surgery to remove kidney stones earlier this month.

According to a statement released by São Paulo-based Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Pelé - often called the greatest soccer player in history - is “lucid, talking and his respiratory and blood readings are stable.” A treatment with antibiotics remained unaltered, the statement said.

Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has struggled with a long list of health problems over the past decade. He has had emergency eye surgery for a detached retina and a hip replacement.

Known as the “King of soccer” in Brazil, he played in four World Cups and scored over 1,000 goals during his career.

Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Pravin Char

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