Pele ready to leave ICU after tumour removed, says daughter

SAO PAULO (AFP) – Brazilian football legend Pele is ready to leave the intensive care unit of a Sao Paulo hospital after undergoing surgery for a suspected colon tumour, one of his daughters said.

Kely Nascimento wrote a message giving an update on her father’s health in Portuguese and in English on her Instagram account, accompanied by a close-up photo of the smiling 80-year-old football mega-star.

“He is doing well post surgery, he is not in pain and is in a good mood (annoyed that he can only eat jello but will persevere!),” Nascimento wrote.

“He will move into a regular room in the next day or two and then go home.”

Her father “is strong and stubborn and with the support and care of the brilliant team at (Albert) Einstein (Hospital) and all of the love, energy and light that the world is sending, he will get through this!” she wrote.

“I wanted to say thank you… from the bottom of my heart for all of the loving, concerned and supportive texts, DMs and emails you guys have sent me,” Nascimento added.

“I have not had the chance to respond to many but I do read them and I feel hugged.”

The most recent hospital bulletin, from Friday, stated that Edson Arantes do Nascimento – better known as Pele – was recovering in a “satisfactory” manner and “actively conversing and displaying vital signs within normal range”.

The suspected tumour was detected during routine tests, according to the hospital, where Pele has been undergoing treatment since August 31.

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