Soccer living legend Pelé is recovering in the ICU after having surgery to remove a tumor from his right colon. The Brazilian former professional footballer, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, took social media to share the news with his legion of followers.
“My friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. I thank God for feeling very well and for allowing Dr. Fábio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health,” the 80-year-old star said in a post on Instagram.
According to one of the greatest athletes of all time and one of the most successful and popular sports figures of the 20th century, he is optimistic and looking forward to a speedy recovery. “Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you. I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends,” he added.
As reported by CNN, Pelé’s announcement comes after unconfirmed reports that he had fainted before the surgery. The all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil denied the allegations and added that he is in good health and regularly visits the doctor.
The publication added that his doctors at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in São Paulo informed that they found a suspicious lesion during cardiovascular and laboratory tests. In a statement, Dr. Fabio Narsi and Dr. Miguel Cendoroglo Neto said that they realized it was a tumor.
In 2020, Pelé’s health made headlines after reports of depression after recovering from hip surgery. The three-time World Cup winner again dismissed the allegations, but his son said he is using his frame to walk. “He’s embarrassed; he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house,” his son Edinho told TV Globo in Brazil. “He is very sheepish, reclusive.”
At the time, Edinho said that his father hadn’t followed the indications of doing physiotherapy to recover fully. “He’s pretty fragile. He had a hip replacement and didn’t have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation,” he revealed. “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’t walk properly.”