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Pele released from hospital to begin chemotherapy

September 30, 2021

The Brazilian soccer legend has been released from hospital after recovering from an operation to remove a tumor from his colon. The 80-year-old will now undergo chemotherapy.

Pele in Sao Paulo
The Brazilian soccer legend had an operation to remove a tumor from his colonImage: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/picture alliance

Brazilian soccer star Pele was cleared to leave a Sao Paulo hospital on Thursday after recovering from an operation to remove a tumor from his colon.

"I am so happy to be back at home,'' Pele wrote in a post on his official Instagram page. "I want to thank the entire Albert Einstein Hospital team, who made my stay a pleasant one, with a humane and very affectionate welcome.''

In a statement, doctors from the Hospital Albert Einstein said Pele "is stable and will continue with chemotherapy.'' They did not provide further details.

Pele carrying out exercises in Sao Paulo hospital, with two medics
Pele received treatment at the Sao Paulo hospital for nearly a monthImage: Instagram@PELE/REUTERS

The 80-year-old  Pele had the tumor removed on September 4 and spent several days in intensive care after the surgery.

The tumor was detected when Pele went for routine examinations at the end of August.

'Celebrate every step of the journey'

In recent days, Pele published several pictures and videos on social media showing his recovery process while in hospital. In the past years, he has had various stints in the hospital.

"When the road is hard, celebrate every 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 often than usual," he wrote on Instagram.

Born in Tres Coracoes in the south of Minas Gerais state, Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele's real name — went on to win the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups.

He is considered by many the greatest soccer player of all time. 

Pele remains Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.

mvb/jsi (AFP, Reuters, AP)