Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Brazilian soccer legend Pele in ‘stable’ condition after being hospitalized with colon tumor

Brad Penner, Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brazilian soccer legend Pele has been hospitalized again, this time to receive treatment for a colon tumor. The 81-year-old’s tumor was first identified in September, and his doctors said Wednesday he’s undergoing “follow-up treatment” at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo.  

Pele’s doctors told AFP Pele is in “stable” condition and expects to leave the facility “in the coming days.”

In September, Pele announced doctors discovered he had a tumor on the right side of his colon during a routine medical exam. The exam was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pele underwent surgery on the tumor on Sept. 4, a procedure that kept him hospitalized for a month. He then continued chemotherapy at home.  

“Fortunately I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you,” Pele wrote on Instagram. “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.”

This isn’t Pele’s first health scare. He has undergone kidney and prostate surgeries over the past few years and had a failed hip replacement procedure in 2012. 

Pele, Brazil’s all-time leading international scorer with 77 goals, is the only men’s player to win three World Cups. He led Brazil to its first ever World Cup win in 1958 before winning it all again in 1962 and 1970. 

In 1977, Pele retired with a record 1,279 career goals. Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo passed that number earlier this year, prompting a gracious response from the Brazilian legend. 

“I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone,” Pele wrote on Instagram. “Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today.” 

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