FOOTBALL legend Pele has successfully undergone surgery to have a tumour removed from his colon.
The 80-year-old revealed tonight via his social media accounts that the operation went fine after spending the last six days in hospital.
The Brazilian wrote: “My friends, thank you very much for your kind messages. I thank God for feeling very well and for allowing Dr. Fabio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health.
“Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove my breast. Suspicious lesion in the right colon. The tumor was identified during the tests I mentioned in the last week.
“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.”
The Globo news site said Pele was undergoing routine examinations in Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein Hospital when the tumour was detected.
Pele's business manager Joe Fraga said there was no cause for concern.
He said: "Full battery of tests, scans, colonoscopy, blood etc. He doesn't do everything in one day."
The scare came a few days after Pele was forced to dismiss reports he had fainted.
In an Instagram message accompanied by a smiling picture of the three-times World Cup winner, Pele wrote: "Guys, I didn't faint and I'm in very good health.
"I went for my routine exams, which I had not been able to do before because of the pandemic.
"Let them know I don't play next Sunday!"
Earlier this year Pele left fans concerned after he cut a frail figure during the new documentary looking back at his glittering career.
He was the star in a Netflix show charting his life from childhood poverty to the 1970 World Cup winner.
But viewers were left concerned by Pele's physical stature after he was seen using a zimmer frame and a wheelchair at various points of the show.
In the opening scene, Pele is only able to reach his seat in front of the camera with the use of a walking frame, before shoving it to one side.
And later on in the show, the goal-scoring icon is spotted arriving at a barbecue in a wheelchair.
Pele underwent hip surgery in December 2015 – with his son, Edinho, admitting the legend is 'pretty fragile' due to a lack of rehabilitation after going under the knife.
The football legend officially scored 757 career goals, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Josef Bican in the all-time list.
However his old club Santos – and legions of fans in Brazil – claim the number is nearer to 1,000.
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