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The Brazilian Pelé, 80, was operated on Saturday for a “suspicious” tumor in the colon, the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo announced on Monday, adding that the football legend “was recovering” in a unit of intensive care.
The tumor was discovered during routine examinations and a biopsy will be performed, said the hospital, where “King” Pelé has been staying since August 31.
“Thank God I feel very good (…) Fortunately, I am used to celebrating great victories by your side. I will play this new game with a smile and a lot of optimism”, wrote the three-time champion of the world on his Instagram account.
Pelé is due out of intensive care on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement. The health of what many consider the greatest footballer of all time has been fragile in recent years, with several hospitalizations.
The last dates back to April 2019, in Paris, due to a severe urinary tract infection. Back in Brazil, he had a kidney stone removed.
At the end of 2014, Pelé had already suffered from a serious urinary tract infection and was placed in intensive care and on dialysis.
He is also diminished by hip problems and was able to move around using a walker during his last public appearances.
In February 2020, Pelé had wished to reassure his admirers about his mental health, after remarks by his son Edinho saying that he was living “reclusive” and suffering “from a certain form of depression”.