Pele undergoes treatment in Paris hospital after health scare

Brazilian soccer legend Pele is seen in Paris, April 2, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 03 April 2019
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Pele undergoes treatment in Paris hospital after health scare

  • Pele, who won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, was in Paris for a promotional appearance
  • The declining health of the player known as ‘O Rei’ has been a cause for concern

PARIS: Football legend Pele was taken to a Paris hospital as a precaution on Wednesday after suffering from an “infection” but is “doing well,” according to members of his entourage.
The 78-year-old Brazilian three-time World Cup winner was being treated for “a light fever” prior to the long flight back to his home country, the sources told AFP, confirming earlier reports by French radio station RMC.
The sources indicated that he was still in hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
Pele, who won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, was in Paris for a promotional appearance alongside France star Kylian Mbappe.
The declining health of the player known as ‘O Rei’ has been a cause for concern in recent times, and the planned meeting with Mbappe had already been postponed last November.
Previously, Pele had admitted to not being up to the task of lighting the flame at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Before that, Pele spent time in intensive care in Brazil in late 2014 following a kidney complaint.
“I wasn’t afraid of dying as I am a man with three hearts,” he joked at the time, alluding to the translation from Portuguese of the name of the town of his birth, Tres Coracoes.
On Tuesday, the man who was named FIFA’s player of the 20th century spent the entirety of his encounter with Mbappe sitting down, but appeared on good form at the event organized by watch manufacturer Hublot.
Mbappe last year became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final, following in Pele’s footsteps, in France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia when he was still just 19.
Pele achieved the feat as a 17-year-old in 1958 and claims to have gone on to score over 1,000 goals in his career, during which he starred at club level for Santos and later the New York Cosmos.
“It’s possible, I scored exactly 1,025, so 1,000 goals is possible for him,” Pele said when asked if Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe, now 20, could also reach that milestone.
It has previously been said that Pele scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches during his glittering career which spanned two decades.
Pele also told Mbappe, who has been repeatedly linked with a move away from PSG, that the key to smashing goalscoring records is playing in the very best teams.
“People tend to say that goals are the most important thing — I thank God for having scored so many in my career — but we must know that we need to be well-supported, you can’t score on your own, you need good teammates, that’s very important,” he said.


Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal into Monte Carlo last eight

Updated 18 April 2019
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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal into Monte Carlo last eight

  • Medvedev eliminates 6th seed Tsitsipas in three sets

MONTE CARLO: Top seed Novak Djokovic and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal showed no mercy in dominating wins to power into the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.

Djokovic extended his winning streak against US players with a 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Taylor Fritz.

The two-time tournament champion has now won nine in a row over Americans since losing at Wimbledon in 2016 to Sam Querrey.

“It was very challenging to play in these (windy) conditions,” Djokovic said. “Taylor just flattens the ball.

“We had five, six close games in the first set, I just managed to break his resistance midway through.

“After that, things went on my side and I felt more comfortable.

“This was one of these days where you just have to hang in there and try to put an extra ball back in the court — that was enough.”

Nadal repeated last year’s semifinal win over Grigor Dimitrov, beating the Bulgarian for the 12th time, 6-4, 6-1.

“I’m very, very happy, this is an important victory for me,” the second seed said after winning his 23rd consecutive set at the tournament.

“Grigor is a super talent and is very dangerous. It was a positive match for me.

“I had a good day, I can be happy with what I did on court.

“When you don’t play on clay for almost a year, every win is important for the confidence, especially as I’m coming back from injury.”

Spain’s 17-time Grand Slam champion started his clay season this week after missing a month with another knee problem and has title-holder points to defend here plus Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros.

The king of clay is bidding for a 12th trophy in the principality. His record at the event is a staggering 70-4.

Nadal spent almost an hour in securing the first set but picked up the pace in the second as he ran out the winner.

He next faces Guido Pella, who defeated Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

World No. 1 Djokovic will be playing his ninth quarterfinal here from 13 appearances at his home event.

Djokovic turned in a steady performance with a dozen winners and unforced errors, while his opponent committed nearly 30 unforced errors in 68 minutes.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier lost 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 as Daniil Medvedev continued his run of form.

The Russian will next line up against Djokovic after losing to him in January in the Australian Open fourth round.

Tsitsipas was caught on the back foot facing three match points as he trailed 0-40 on his serve late in the second set. After saving the first two, the Greek botched the third to seal his exit after an hour and three-quarters.

Medvedev increased his leading total of ATP season match wins to 20 as a result after he beat Tsitsipas for the fourth time in as many attempts.

“This was a great achievement for me,” Medvedev said. “Everything was perfect today.

“Some wind came up in the second set and I could not get used to it. But in the third, I just worked to put every ball in the court.

“I was pleased to fight back after going a break down in the third set.”

The player who stands a career-high 14th credits his rising form to a renewed dedication to the sport.

“I’ve been working hard for the past 18 months —  since before the start of 2018. I’ve dedicated my life to tennis, which I did not do before,” Medvedev said.

“I had my best season last year — hopefully this year will be better.”

The Russian reached his first quarterfinal at the Masters 1000 level after winning his second match against a Top 10 opponent.

Tsitsipas, runner-up last season to Nadal in Toronto, suffered his eighth defeat of the season against 18 wins and will try and lift his game next week on the clay of Barcelona. 

Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego defeated Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-2, 7-5.