Former Brazil star Pele has thanked medical staff following his short spell in hospital and assured fans he is "back on the field".

The 78-year-old was treated for a urinary tract infection in Paris, where he had been attending a commercial event alongside Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.

He returned home to Brazil last week and has now told his followers on social media that his recovery has gone well.

He wrote on Twitter: "My dear friends. I'm happy to be able to write again to let you know that I'm fine.

"I would like to thank the medical staff of Albert Einstein Hospital, and especially you, for the prayers and positive energy. I'm back on the field, thirsting for new goals in life."

Pele has arrived back in Brazil following a hospital stay in Paris, where he was treated for a urinary tract infection.

The 78-year-old football great fell ill following a sponsors' event in the French capital last week, where he appeared alongside Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.

Neymar visited his countryman on Monday, posting a picture to social media of the pair, and Pele is now back in his homeland.

The three-time World Cup winner arrived at Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo and thanked well-wishers after being taken through the terminal in a wheelchair.

After speaking briefly to reporters, he was driven away.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who called the hospital, hoping for my prompt recovery," Pele said.

"Many people said they were praying, praying for me. And again, thank God it was all right, I'm here. Long live Brazil."

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar paid a bedside visit to Pele in hospital as the former Brazil star continues his recovery from a urinary tract infection.

Pele fell ill following a sponsor event in Paris last week, at which he appeared alongside Kylian Mbappe, but said he was feeling "much better" after being given a course of antibiotics.

The 78-year-old is unlikely to be discharged until the infection has fully cleared up and he had a famous visitor when Neymar stopped by on Monday.

The pair smiled as they posed for a photo that was uploaded to social media.

Neymar is himself undergoing rehabilitation from a metatarsal injury and recently returned to PSG training.

 

Pele is feeling "much better" following treatment for a urinary tract infection in a French hospital.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that the 78-year-old had been given a course of antibiotics after falling ill.

Pele was in Paris to attend a sponsor event with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

A tweet posted on the three-time World Cup winner's Twitter account read:  "Thank you for all your love! The anti-biotics are working and the tests are all [check emoji]."

Pele is widely considered one of the greatest players in football history and joked his treatment had worked so well he felt ready to grace the field once again.

"I feel so much better, I think I'm ready to play again!" he added.

Pele is receiving treatment for a urinary tract infection in a French hospital, the former Brazil star's advisors have confirmed to Omnisport.

It was reported early on Wednesday that the 78-year-old had been hospitalised after falling ill in the hours after attending a sponsor event with Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.

It has been confirmed he is on a course of antibiotics and is not likely to be discharged until the infection has completely cleared up.

Pele, who was treated for a similar condition in a Sao Paulo hospital in 2014, is expected to be released in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The three-time World Cup winner, who spent his club career with Santos and New York Cosmos, is widely considered one of the greatest players in football history.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mbappe said he would unlikely ever match Pele's goalscoring record

"Even with the goals in the playgrounds, goals on the PlayStation, I could never equal 1,250 goals," said the 20-year-old.

"It's really a long way off. I'll try and get as close as I can, but I think it'll still be a long way off by the end of my career."

France and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is happy to be behind Pele in the World Cup record books.

Mbappe, then 19, became the second youngest player to score in a World Cup final when he struck in France's win over Croatia in last year's decider.

Pele is the youngest and the pair are the only teenagers to have netted in a decider at the showpiece tournament.

Mbappe has no problems being second to Pele, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players ever.

"For a record, you have to be the first, but I am behind him and that's not a problem, I am happy. It was fantastic," he said on Tuesday.

"Before the final, I knew that I could have this opportunity and make history with him.

"With the French national team, we did something huge. We did it for our country. There is nothing more important, I always said it.

"It is very important to defend your nation on the pitch. And make history with France, it was a big dream."

Kylian Mbappe does not have to leave Paris Saint-Germain to be considered the world's best, according to Pele.

Mbappe, 20, is enjoying another excellent season, scoring 31 goals in 35 games in all competitions for PSG, leading to links to LaLiga giants Real Madrid once more.

Pele, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time, said a move was not necessary for Mbappe to be the world's best.

"No, he doesn't need to leave PSG," he said on Tuesday.

"He must continue to play the same way because he will become the best in the world. That's important.

"If we have to make a comparison with Pele, Pele never left Santos to be the best player in the world."

Mbappe helped France win the World Cup last year, while he has already claimed two Ligue 1 crowns and a Coupe de France.

The attacker's ability to change throughout games may be his biggest strength, according to Pele.

"Kylian is smart, fast and unpredictable. His biggest advantage is that he changes all the time throughout the match," he said.

"You have a lot of players who are technically good but that don't have this piece of unpredictability during the game. So what I see in Kylian is this, his unpredictability."

 

Kylan Mbappe is capable of anything but should not be compared to Brazil great Pele, according to Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel.

Mbappe will meet Pele in person for the first time at a commercial event in Paris on Tuesday, with the pair having previously exchanged complimentary messages on social media.

The France star became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele's efforts against Sweden back in 1958 when Les Blues beat Croatia 4-2 in last year's showpiece, making romantic comparisons irresistible to many.

"He can achieve these goals, anything is possible for him [but] it does not help him to be compared to Pele. That's [looking] too far into the future," Tuchel told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Coupe de France semi-final against Nantes, where Mbappe will lead the charge for PSG in the absence of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria.

"It's not good for his concentration. The next opportunity to improve is on the field in training.

"It is easy and difficult at the same time, because everyone sees that he is exceptional. It's like that in sports. It's exhausting and demanding, but it's the way to go."

Tuchel was nevertheless keen to state he was not talking down the 20-year-old forward.

"Mbappe is an extraordinary player. His mentality is huge, he added.

"He always wants to score. He's like a shark smelling the scent of blood. If you throw in a little blood, it happens.

"If he feels the goal or a dangerous situation, he is there – every game, every training session – in front of goal.

"It is his quality. He has to score more, more and more."

Mbappe has scored 32 times in 36 games this season for runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG.

Neymar believes Kylian Mbappe is a "phenomenon" but backed his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate to keep improving.

Mbappe hit 13 Ligue 1 goals in his first PSG season but has proven far more prolific in 2018-19, scoring 26 times to help the champions dominate the league again.

Edinson Cavani and Nicolas Pepe have scored 17 goals each with Mbappe a virtual certainty to win Ligue 1's top-scorer award for the first time.

Mbappe is also proving himself at international level and has broken Karim Benzema's record as the youngest player to reach 30 appearances for France.

The striker has also scored 12 times for Les Bleus, including four goals in their triumph at the 2018 World Cup under Didier Deschamps.

But Neymar, whose foot injury has allowed Mbappe to take the PSG spotlight in recent weeks, feels there is even more to come from the 20-year-old.

"For me, right now, he is already a phenomenon," Neymar said to DAZN and Goal.

"He can have a great career and become even better than he already is. I have no doubt about it that he will become one of the biggest names in world football.

"He is a calm person, happy, full of joy, always ready to joke around. Obviously, he's still a 'kid' and has to gain more experience."

Pele has suggested Mbappe could be his heir, although Neymar has staked his claim for the title by closing in on the three-time World Cup winner's goals record for Brazil.

"I can't really decide who the second or first best player is after Pele," Neymar added. "For me, we are all important. In the past I've said that every one of us has made history, every one played in a different way and every one has been important at a certain moment.

"There are names that will forever remain etched in history, there will always be important Brazilians in football. Ronaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Zico, Rivaldo - I could go on forever. 

"There are many players who were important in their own unique way, that's why it's so difficult to just pick one. Roberto Carlos, for example, wasn't an attacker but is still a player with an incredible story. So to me, it doesn't make a lot of sense to rank the best players in the 'post-Pele era'.

"I have a lot of respect for the players who made history in the past, all the players that have been called up to the Brazil national team, because they are an example to me, they are my idols. Every single one of them is important."

Neymar will inspire players just as Brazil icons Pele, Zico, Romario, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo did before him, says the father of the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

Pele criticised Neymar's antics at Russia 2018 but the former Barcelona star is closing in on the three-time World Cup winner's position as Brazil's record goalscorer.

Neymar's father has regularly highlighted the rough treatment the forward - currently sidelined with a foot injury - often receives from opposition defenders.

And Neymar Sr defended his son against accusations he does not take the right approach on the pitch, claiming he will be an example for the next generation to follow.

"Neymar cannot change his essence, what he's made of, what he's formed from, the player he is," the star's father said to UOL. "He cannot be shaped, he cannot be what the media expects of him. 

"Neymar is Neymar, you will be comparing what kind of players would be compared to Neymar, just as Pele inspired some players, Zico, Romario, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo inspired others, Neymar will inspire other players."

Neymar's father, who also acts as the 27-year-old's agent, has confirmed talks are under way with PSG regarding an extension to his contract, which runs to 2022, but plans are also being put in place for when Neymar decides to hang up his boots.

"It is my job as a manager to do a schedule and career planning for him," Neymar's father added.

"I have said several times that the football player's career is very short. He dedicated himself to being a football professional and he has to live his post-career career.

"Our main challenge is to do career planning so that when he stops playing football he has peace of mind so he can follow his life in the same way."

There is no rush, though, with Neymar planning to continue playing for another decade.

"We are fighting for another 10 years so we can at least keep the story or finish it the way we are today - happy," Neymar Sr continued. "We are happy with Neymar's career so far.

"Neymar cannot end his career by being unhappy, doing what others thought he should do, and failing to do what he thought he had to do. Neymar has to do what he thinks is right for him."

The Blitz team renews the now age-old Messi vs Ronaldo debate.  After 10 years at the top of world football have the players earned the right to be considered the standard by all which others are measured in the modern era.

Brazil great Pele paid a moving tribute to England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks following his death, lauding him as "magic" and revealing his gratitude for being denied by what became known as the "Save of the Century".

Banks' family released a statement through his former club Stoke City on Tuesday, confirming the 81-year-old had "passed away peacefully overnight".

He was capped 73 times by his country and was an ever-present as Alf Ramsey's team claimed World Cup glory on home soil in 1966.

But Banks, widely considered to be among the greatest goalkeepers ever, produced one of the World Cup's most iconic moments four years later, pulling off an astonishing reaction save to keep out a header from Pele in Mexico City.

That save was the catalyst to a long friendship, and Pele penned a touching tribute to Banks on Tuesday.

A post on his official Facebook profile read: "For many people, their memory of Gordon Banks is defined by the save he made against me in 1970. I understand why.

"The save was one of the best I have ever seen - in real life and in all the thousands of games I have watched since.

"When you are a footballer, you know straight away how well you have hit the ball. I hit that header exactly as I had hoped. Exactly where I wanted it to go. And I was ready to celebrate.

"But then this man, Banks, appeared in my sight, like a kind of blue phantom, is how I described him. He came from nowhere and he did something I didn't feel was possible. He pushed my header, somehow, up and over. And I couldn't believe what I saw. Even now when I watch it l, I can't believe it. I can't believe how he moved so far, so fast.

"I scored so many goals in my life, but many people, when they meet me, always ask me about that save. While it was indeed phenomenal, my memory of Gordon is not defined by that - it is defined by his friendship. He was a kind and warm man who gave so much to people.

"So, I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure. Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart.

"I have great sadness in my heart and I send condolences to the family he was so proud of.

"Rest in peace, my friend. Yes, you were a goalkeeper with magic. But you were also so much more. You were a fine human being."

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died, aged 81.

Former Leicester City and Stoke City player Banks was capped 73 times for his country and was an ever-present as Alf Ramsey's team claimed glory on home soil in 1966.

Widely recognised as one of the finest goalkeepers in the history of the game, Banks produced one of the World Cup's most iconic moments four years later by pulling off an astonishing reaction save to keep out a header from Brazil great Pele in Mexico City.

A bout of illness ruled Banks out of the quarter-final clash against West Germany, who gained revenge for their 1966 final defeat as Peter Bonetti deputised.

Banks helped Stoke to the League Cup in 1972, the club's only major honour and one he won with Leicester eight years earlier, before a car accident in October of that year cost him the sight in his right eye.

That meant the end of Banks' illustrious career in England at the age of just 34, although he did enjoy a swansong in the North American Soccer League, representing Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 and 1978 and renewing acquaintances with the likes of George Best, Pele and Carlos Alberto.

A statement from Banks' family, published on Stoke's website, read: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight. 

"We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.

"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time."

Brazil great Pele has tipped Kylian Mbappe to match his legendary achievements.

Pele, revered as one of the greatest players of all time, won the World Cup three times as well as guiding Santos to six Brazilian league titles and two Copa Libertadores in a glittering playing career that ended in 1977.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Mbappe has a long way to go to coming close to matching the 78-year-old but made a promising start by playing a leading role in France's World Cup success in Russia.

"He won the World Cup at 19, I was only 17," said Pele, who shot to prominence as a teenager in Brazil's World Cup success of 1958.

"I teased him saying he had almost equalised.

"I think he can become the new Pele. Many people think I say that for a laugh, but no, it's not a joke."

Mbappe has emerged as arguably the key man at PSG, ahead of Brazil captain Neymar, who continues to be linked with a move back to Barcelona.

The world's most expensive player has occasionally struggled at the Parc des Princes but Pele was quick to offer encouragement.

"A father does not criticise, he educates," he said. "He is a son of Santos.

"I want the best for him, for Brazil, for our national team.

"I will do anything to help and move him forward."

Pele has sent his support to fellow icon Diego Maradona after the Argentina great underwent successful surgery.

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