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Pele survives, recovering after tumor surgery

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Brazilian football legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, has survived and is recovering after undergoing surgery for a suspected colon tumor, the hospital in Sao Paulo treating him announced on Monday.

“The tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory examinations and the material was sent for pathological analysis,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pele has been treated since August 31.

“I thank God for feeling very well,” the 80-year-old wrote on his Instagram page on Monday.

“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.”

Pele is due out of intensive care on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.

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Pele is the only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is considered by many till date to be the greatest footballer of all time.

He burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

Four years later, Pele gave a tantalizing glimpse of his ability with an electric individual goal against Mexico in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win.

But he aggravated an existing injury in the second game, against the Czechs, and was forced to sit out the remainder of the tournament as his countrymen successfully defended their title.

Nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), Pele scored the opener in Brazil’s 4-1 final win over Italy in Mexico in 1970.

After retiring from international football, Pele went on to play for the New York Cosmos, before ending his career with over 1,000 goals to his name.

Pelé is the all-time leading goal scorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. At club level he is Santos’ all-time top goal scorer with 643 goals from 659 games.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Pele thanked his fans and well-wishers for keeping faith with him. He tweeted:

“My friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon. Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you.”

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