Brazilian football legend, Pele, has denied reports he is depressed and embarrassed to leave his house due to the state of his health.
This comes days after the former Brazil striker’s son Edinho told TV Globo that his father was “embarrassed” to leave home due to his hip issues, which causes “a certain depression”
Edinho said: “He’s pretty fragile. He had a hip replacement and didn’t have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation.
“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 no longer walk properly. Only with help. He is very shy, very embarrassed about it.
“It improved a little compared to that recent time when he was in a wheelchair, but he still has a lot of difficulty walking.
“He’s embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house. He is reclusive.”
Reacting to his son’s interview, the former striker debunked the claims, saying: “Thank you for your prayers and concerns. I am fine,” he responded in a statement on Friday.
“I’m turning 80 this year. I have my good and bad days. This is normal for people my age.
“I continue to accept my physical limitations in the best possible way, but I intend to keep the ball rolling. God bless you all.”
Over the years, Pele has been faced with several health challenges, having made some of his recent public appearances in a wheelchair.
Two years ago, Pele appeared in a wheelchair at the 2018 World Cup draw in Moscow three years after he had prostate surgery before he was then admitted to hospital with a urinary infection in 2019.
Pele, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, 92 times for Brazil between 1957-1972, scoring 77 goals.