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Pele 'improving' after treatment

Brazilian football superstar Pele's condition is improving as he undergoes kidney treatment in an intensive care unit, according to a hospital.

The Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said the 74-year-old is "lucid" and breathing normally without support.

The three-times World Cup winner has been in hospital since Monday because of a urinary infection. He also had surgery to remove kidney stones on November 13.

Pele yesterday used his official Twitter account to deny widespread reports that said his condition worsened and he had been put in intensive care to treat the urinary tract infection.

"I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine," he said. "I was not put into intensive care today, I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only.

"I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious.

"I am looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with my family, and will start the new year with renewed health, with many international trips already planned! Thank you!"

Pele's manager had already said the former player was expected to make a "quick and full" recovery from the "minor" infection.

Paul Kemsley said reports about the deterioration of Pele's condition and him going into intensive care "were greatly exaggerated".

He said: "He was relocated to a special area of the hospital for privacy purposes only, due to having an overwhelming number of visitors which prevented him from getting the necessary care and treatment."

The hospital said: "Pele's clinical condition is better," adding that the star was not under any "support therapies" or receiving additional medication to keep him stable.

Officials said doctors continue to administer intravenous kidney treatment, a type of haemodialysis to filter waste particles from his blood.

His spokesman and personal aide Jose Fornos Rodrigues said Pele would leave hospital "in a few days".

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