Pele, the Brazilian soccer legend, has turned reclusive due to his nagging health issues, which have led to depression, according to his son.
The soccer great has been hospitalized last year for various issues including a urinary infection that kept him hospitalized for weeks. Edinho, his son, told the Brazilian station TV Globo that his father now requires assistance to walk due to hip problems.
“Imagine, he’s the King, he was always such an imposing figure and today he can’t walk properly,” his son said, according to the BBC. “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.”
The three-time World Cup champion is 79. The BBC reported that he scored a record 1,281 goals in his 21-year career.
The Associated Press contributed to this report