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Pele insists he feels fine after ‘depressed’, ‘reclusive’ claims

Football legend Pele has denied reports he is depressed and reclusive because of mobility problems.

The former Brazil striker’s son Edinho told TV Globo on Monday that his father was “embarrassed” to leave home due to his hip issues, which causes “a certain depression”.

Pele, who will be 80 in October, responded on Friday with a statement that read: “Thank you for your prayers and concerns. I am fine.

“I’m turning 80 this year. I have my good and bad days. This is normal for people my age.

“I am not afraid, I am determined. I am confident in what I do.

“Last week, I had the honour of meeting the CBF president in the studio where I was recording my documentary.

“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.”

The three-time World Cup winner, widely considered to be one of the greatest players ever, has been dogged by hip trouble and often uses a wheelchair when making public appearances.

Pele had prostate surgery in 2015 and was admitted to hospital with a urinary infection last year.

This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of his third World Cup triumph in Mexico when Brazil beat Italy in the final.

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