The 79-year-old has rarely been in public recently having struggled with his rehabilitation from a hip operation
Brazil legend Pele is depressed and is too embarrassed to leave his house due to poor health, according to his son Edinho.
The former striker will turn 80 in October, and requires a frame to help him walk after suffering from years of hip trouble.
Many of his recent public appearances have been in a wheelchair, with his son saying that his father is reluctant to leave the house due to his shame about being unwell.
“He’s pretty fragile,” Edinho told Globoesporte . “He had a hip replacement and didn’t have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation.
“So he has this problem with mobility and that has set off a kind of depression. Imagine, he’s the king, he was always such an imposing figure, and today he can no longer walk properly. Only with help. He is very shy, very embarrassed about it.
“It improved a little compared to that recent time when he was in a wheelchair, but he still has a lot of difficulty walking.
“He’s embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house. He is reclusive.”
The 79-year-old’s ill-health has previously been reported by Brazilian media.
It was claimed that he had his right kidney removed in 1977, before also stating more recently that he had underwent surgery to remove kidney stones.
Pele appeared in a wheelchair at the 2018 World Cup draw in Moscow, with it also reported that he had collapsed from exhaustion a month later.
The former Santos and New York Cosmos striker played an influential role in Brazil’s domination at international level from 1958-1970, where the country lifted the World Cup on three occasions.
This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of Pele’s third and final World Cup title, where he was a key part of what many believe to be the greatest team of all time when Brazil became world champions in Mexico in 1970.
Pele spent 18 years at Santos, making 1,281 appearances and scoring 1,091 goals – though not all of those came in official matches.
He remains Brazil’s leading goalscorer with 77 and is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.