Pele rejects son’s claim that he’s depressed

Pele with former Jamaica national footballer Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison in the late 1990s. Pele turns 80 this year.

Legendary Brazilian football player Pele has rejected claims made by his son Edinho earlier this week that he’s suffering from depression.

In making the claim, Edinho said that his father has become reluctant to leave the house due to deteriorating health. “He’s embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house. He is reclusive,” said Edinho.

The 79-year-old footballing icon has rarely been in public recently having struggled with his rehabilitation from a hip operation and requires a frame to help him walk.

‘I’m fine. I’m turning 80 this year. I have my good and bad days.’

—Pele

The three-time World Cup champion has, however, insisted on Thursday that he is “fine”. Pele said in a statement released to the public: “Thank you for your prayers and concerns. I’m fine. I’m turning 80 this year. I have my good and bad days. This is normal for people my age. I’m not afraid, I’m determined and I’m confident in what I do. Last week, I had the honour of meeting the CBF [Brazilian Football Confederation] president in the studio I was shooting my documentary in.

“I had two photo sessions last month for campaigns that use my image and testimony. I have several upcoming events scheduled. I do not avoid meeting commitments from my always busy schedule. I continue to accept my physical limitations in the best possible way, but I intend to keep the ball rolling. God bless you all.”