Rio de Janeiro, May 26 (IANS) Brazil football great Pele, who has battled ailing health in recent years, has been cleared by doctors to travel to Russia for the World Cup, according to media reports.
The 77-year-old was given the news after undergoing intense physiotherapy to overcome back and hip problems, Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported on Friday, citing Pele’s long-time personal assistant Jose Fornos.
“He is still suffering from pain but has shown significant improvement in his capacity to get around,” the newspaper said.
Pele is in high demand from sponsors and organisers to make guest appearances during the June 14-July 15 event. He will meet with his advisors next week to discuss his World Cup agenda, Xinhua news agency reported citing the newspaper.
The only footballer to win the World Cup three times and scorer of 1,281 career goals in 1,363 games, Pele is regarded by many as the greatest player in history.
In recent years, he has been afflicted by a series of health issues. In addition to spinal pain and complications from hip replacement surgery, the former Santos player has been hospitalized several times with prostate and kidney problems.
Brazil will begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Rostov on June 17.