Soccer

Soccer great Pelé leaves intensive care after surgery to remove tumour in colon

Retired Brazilian soccer star Pelé was moved out of intensive care on Tuesday as he continues to recover from surgery to remove a tumour from his right colon.

3-time World Cup winner in good spirits and clinical condition in Brazil

Brazilian football great Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, has left intensive care in a Brazilian hospital following surgery to remove a tumour from his right colon. (Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images/File)

Retired Brazilian soccer star Pelé was moved out of intensive care on Tuesday as he continues to recover from surgery to remove a tumour from his right colon.

The 80-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento was in good clinical condition and will remain "from now on recovering in his room" at Albert Einstein Hospital, the Sao Paulo facility said in a statement.

Pele said he is ready "to play 90 minutes, plus extra time" after leaving intensive care.

"Don't think for a minute that I haven't read the thousands of loving messages I've received around here," Pele wrote on Instagram, smiling in the accompanying photo. "Thank you very much to each one of you, who dedicated a minute of your day to send me positive energy. Love, love and love!"

The tumour was found when Pele went for routine exams at the end of August. His surgery was Sept. 4 and he had been expected to leave intensive care last week.

Pele, the only male player to win three World Cups, has had mobility problems since a failed hip replacement surgery in 2012, forcing him to use a walker and wheelchair. In recent years, he has also undergone kidney and prostate procedures.

Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.

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