Pele: Football legend reluctant to leave home because of his poor health, son says

11 February 2020, 08:00 | Updated: 11 February 2020, 08:37

Three-time World Cup winner Pele is "depressed" and reluctant to leave his house because he cannot walk unaided due to his poor health, his son has said.

The Brazilian, thought by some to be the greatest player in history, will be 80 in October and was treated in Paris in April for a urinary infection.

Pele, full name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has had hip trouble for some time and now needs a frame to walk, with many of his recent public appearances seeing him use 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 victory, won in Mexico in 1970 with what many people believe is the greatest team of all time.

He also played in the Brazil sides that won in 1958 and 1962 and scored a record 1,282 goals in 1,363 games over a 21-year career.