Soccer Legend Pelé Hospitalized for Colon Tumor Treatment

Brazilian soccer star Pelé previously underwent an operation to remove the tumor in September

Pelé. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Three-time World Cup winner Pelé has been hospitalized to undergo treatment in relation to a tumor in his colon.

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

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

Pelé — largely considered the greatest soccer player of all time — 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," 81-year-old 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."

picture alliance via Getty

"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."

Between his updates, he has also posted classic pictures of himself with teammates and other athletes and recently congratulated Lionel Messi on an award win.

According to BBC, Pelé has dealt with a number of health issues in recent years. He had an operation on his prostate in 2015 and was hospitalized for a urinary tract infection in 2019.

In 2012, Pelé underwent an unsuccessful hip replacement surgery, which was followed by a corrective procedure four years later. Subsequently, he has dealt with mobility issues.

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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Pelé also helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, giving him the most wins in the World Cup by any male player.

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