The great Brazilian soccer player has undergone surgery for a suspected intestinal tumor and is recovering, a Sao Paulo hospital announced Monday that he is being treated.
“The tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory examinations and the material was sent for pathological analysis,” said Albert Einstein Hospital, which has been treating jaundice since August 31.
On Monday, the 80-year-old wrote on his Instagram page, “I thank God for making me feel so good.”
“Fortunately, I am used to celebrating great victories with you.
“I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of hope and happiness to live a life surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”
The hospital said in a statement that Pele was out of intensive care on Tuesday.
His former club Santos shared a message of support for the star on Twitter. “It will be another victory in your life. We wish you a good recovery!” The club said.
Pele, whose real name is Edson Arentes du Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years, and due to a severe urinary tract infection, recently in April 2019, in Paris, he had various spells in the hospital.
Back in Brazil, his kidney stone was removed.
In late 2014, he contracted a serious urinary tract infection and was placed on intensive care and dialysis.
He also has hip problems and needs a walker to walk around during his latest public appearance.
In February 2020, Pele reassured his fans about his mental health, following remarks by his son Edinho that he was suffering from “a certain type of depression”.
The only player in history to have won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele is considered by many to be the best footballer ever.
He exploded to just 17 goals worldwide, including two in the final against host Sweden, as Brazil won their first World Cup in 1958.
Four years later, Pele showed his mettle in Brazil’s opening 2-0 victory over Mexico with an electric individual goal.
But in the second game, he extended his current injury against the Czechs, and was forced to stay out of the rest of the tournament as his compatriots successfully defended their title.
Known as “O Re” (The King), Pele scored the opener in Brazil’s 4-1 final victory over Italy in Mexico in 1970.
After retiring from international football, Pele began playing for the New York Cosmos, before ending his career with more than a thousand goals.