Pele, 74, three-time World Cup Winner (1958, 1962 and 1970) has been transferred to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo after suffering “clinical instability”.
Reports had suggested Pele, admitted on Monday, was in intensive care. He was initially discharged from hospital on 13 November after surgery to remove kidney stones. It is understood that while treatment in special care is above the level of routine care, it is less serious than intensive care, and the Brazilian – widely regarded as the greatest player of all time – can still receive visitors.
Local media says it is possible Pele picked up an infection during the procedure to remove kidney stones and that the current treatment is usually straightforward.
Pele scored a world record total of 1,281 goals in 1,363 games during his 21-year career. The Fifa Player of the Century won 91 caps for Brazil and scored 77 goals.
He made 14 appearances at World Cup finals, scoring 12 goals, and picked up the the Fifa Golden Ball award as the best player at the 1970 tournament.