Pele remains in ICU after surgery

Published September 12, 2021
Brazilian football legend Pele poses for photographers in front of a painting entitled "Pele, Bicycle Kick" by artist Russell at the exhibition "Pele: Art, Life, Football" at the Halcyon Gallery in London. — AFP/File
Brazilian football legend Pele poses for photographers in front of a painting entitled "Pele, Bicycle Kick" by artist Russell at the exhibition "Pele: Art, Life, Football" at the Halcyon Gallery in London. — AFP/File

SAO PAULO: Former Brazilian football legend Pele remains in an intensive care unit and is recovering satisfactorily almost a week after surgery to remove a tumor from his colon, his doctors said on Friday.

Pele’s medical team at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement that he was “actively conversing and displaying vital signs within normal range.”

Pele, 80, took to Instagram to reassure his fans.

“My friends, with each passing day I feel a little better. I’m looking forward to playing again, but I’m still going to recover for a few more days,” he said. “While I’m here, I take the opportunity to talk a lot with my family and to rest. Thanks again for all the loving messages. We’ll be together again soon!”

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

Considered by many the greatest footballer of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele’s real name — has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various stints in the hospital.

The former Santos and New York Cosmos player was famous for rarely getting injured, but he has suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided.

The only player in history to win three World Cups — 1958, 1962 and 1970 — Pele 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.

He went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.

His public appearances were already being cut before the Covid-19 pandemic and since then he has made few unnecessary forays outside his house near Santos.

His son last year said his famous father was depressed, something the star quickly denied.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2021

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