Brazilian Soccer Pelé to Spend Christmas with Family After Procedure for Colon Tumor, Daughter Says

The 81-year-old three-time World Cup winner who is largely considered the greatest soccer player of all time discovered the tumor during a routine examination

Pelé. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Brazilian soccer star Pelé will get to spend Christmas with his family following treatment for a tumor in his colon.

On Wednesday, the 81-year-old's daughter Kely Nascimento shared the happy news about the three-time World Cup winner — who is largely considered the greatest soccer player of all time.

"In two or three days he will be back home to enjoy Christmas," Nascimento wrote on Instagram — as translated by ESPN. Pelé's daughter explained that the news comes as no "surprise" to his loved ones because it was "already scheduled," per ESPN.

Nascimento's post comes after Pelé's hospitalization was announced — also on Wednesday.

According to the AFP, the former Brazilian soccer star was admitted into Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital to receive chemotherapy treatment.

"The patient is stable, and is expected to be released in the coming days," his medical team said in a statement.

Pelé previously underwent surgery to remove the tumor in his right colon in early September. He spent a month in the hospital following the operation. The tumor, CNN reported, was found during a routine examination.

"When the path is difficult, celebrate each step of the journey," Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, wrote on Instagram in late September. "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."

"Thanks also to all of you, who from afar, make my life complete with so many messages of love," he added.

Pelé, who is active on social media, gave an update on his condition in mid-November that let his 7.7 million followers know he was "fine" and feeling "better every day."

During his career, Pelé is said to have scored over 1,000 times, with Guinness World Records estimating the number is as high as 1,279 goals.

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