Pele Hospitalized for Treatment on Colon Tumor, Should Be Discharged in Coming Days

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2021

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Brazilian soccer legend Pele attends the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow. On his social media accounts, Pele said on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021 that an apparent tumor on the right side of his colon had been removed in an operation. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File

Soccer legend Pele has been hospitalized for "continuing" treatment on a colon tumor.

The Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo said in a statement Wednesday that Pele is in stable condition and should be released within the next few days, per Reuters.

The 81-year-old three-time FIFA World Cup champion underwent surgery Sept. 4 to remove a tumor from his colon, per CNN's Matias Grez.

He posted a statement on Instagram after being released from the hospital Sept. 30:

"When the path is difficult, celebrate each step of the journey. Focus on your happiness. It's true that I can't jump anymore, but these past few days, I've been punching the air more times than usual. I am so happy to be back at home. I want to thank the entire Albert Einstein Hospital team, who made my stay a pleasant one, with a humane and very affectionate welcome. Thanks also to all of you, who from afar, make my life complete with so many messages of love."

Pele provided an update last month, saying he was feeling "better every day" (via Reuters):

Pelé @Pele

Amigos, faz algum tempo que não falamos disso. Eu quero avisar que estou muito bem. Me sinto cada dia melhor. Acho que nem mesmo a máscara para minha proteção consegue esconder a minha felicidade. Muito obrigado a todos vocês, que me mandam boas energias diariamente. <a href="https://t.co/0K0lJkFC1i">pic.twitter.com/0K0lJkFC1i</a>

Pele, who played for Brazilian side Santos and the New York Cosmos in the U.S. during his club career, was expected to undergo chemotherapy treatments after his initial release from the hospital, per Reuters.

Since retiring from on-field competition in 1977, Pele has worked as a humanitarian and served as Brazil's Minister of Sports from 1995 through 1998.

A movie about his life, Pele: Birth of a Legend, was released in 2016.