Brazilian soccer superstar Pelé said he felt “strong” and was being treated “as usual” Saturday in his battle against colon cancer, despite a report he was transferred to palliative care.

Pelé, 82, has been receiving treatment for the cancer since September 2021, but on Saturday the Brazilian newspaper Folha De S. Paulo reported that he’d been transferred to palliative care after chemotherapy stopped working.

The living legend was only being treated for a respiratory infection, pain and shortness of breath, and doctors were no longer focusing on the cancer, the report said.

Pelé celebrates with his teammates after winning the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

“My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive,” Pelé wrote Saturday on Instagram. “I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received.”

Pelé, whose legal name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, said earlier in the week that he’d been visiting the hospital on a regular basis for follow-up treatments. When he returned on Tuesday, his daughter, Kely Nascimento, said it was not an emergency but a reevaluation of his chemotherapy treatment.

Pelé attends the draw for the 2018 World Cup, held in 2017 at the Kremlin in Moscow.

During that visit, doctors began treating Pelé’s respiratory infection with antibiotics.

Pelé is widely considered the greatest soccer player of all time and led Brazil to World Cup victories in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He remains the country’s leading international goal-scorer, with 77 goals in 92 games.

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