Pele's condition is "improving" but he remains in the intensive care unit of the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, according to a statement released on Friday.

The 74-year-old allayed fears over his health by announcing on his official Twitter feed on Thursday evening that he was "doing fine", having been admitted to a "special care" unit in the Sao Paulo hospital - three days after being taken in with a urinary tract infection.

Pele's personal assistant Jose Fornos also moved quickly to play down the news by explaining he had simply been moved to a private room.

But, while delivering positive news on the three-time World Cup-winner's state on Friday, the hospital said he remained in intensive care.

In an official statement, signed by attending medics Dr Fabio Nasri and Dr Marcelo Costa Batista, the hospital said: "Patient Edson Arantes do Nascimento is improving his clinical condition and remains in the intensive care unit.

"He continues under temporary kidney support (continual haemodialysis), lucid and with no need of breathing support."

Pele released a statement on Twitter to assure his followers he was on the mend on Thursday evening.

He wrote: "Hello everyone, I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine.

"I was not put into intensive care today, I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only.

"While I appreciate all the visitors that came to see me, I really need to continue my treatment and recovery in peace.

"I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious.

"I am looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with my family, and will start the new year with renewed health, with many international trips already planned! Thank you!"

A statement from the hospital earlier, reported by, read: "The Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein reports that the patient Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) has been admitted with clinical instability.

"To receive the best care, he has been transferred to be monitored in a special care unit. The hospital will update when there is new information."

However, Fornos, known as 'Pepito', responded to the statement to say Pele simply wanted more privacy.

"It will take between eight and 10 days before he can leave the hospital," he added to

Pele underwent surgery at the same hospital two weeks ago to have kidney stones removed. The issue forced the cancellation of an appearance at the Pele Museum in Santos due to "health reasons".

He has previously been under the care of the Albert Einstein hospital having had thigh surgery two years ago.