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Brazilian football hero Pelé announces surgery to remove the tumor

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The news of the surgery follows Pelé’s denial of reports that he had fainted last week, when he said he was in good health and was receiving routine checkups.

According to his doctors at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo, the 80-year-old sports icon is recovering well in the ICU after the tumor was removed.

During one of the cardiovascular and laboratory tests, doctors had found a suspicious injury to his right colon, which was found to be a tumor, doctors Fabio Narsi and Miguel Cendoroglo Neto said in a statement.

“My friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. I thank God for feeling so good and for allowing Dr. Fábio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health,” Pelé said in a post on the networks social.

“Fortunately, I am used to celebrating great victories alongside you. I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy to live surrounded by the love of my family and friends,” Pelé said.

Pele, who entered the international scene as a teenager at the 1958 World Cup, has remained in the spotlight even after his retirement thanks to his approval of international products and as a frank public figure.

In 2000, FIFA named him his Player of the Century, an honor he shared with Argentine Diego Maradona.

Last year there were fears about Pele’s health, but he dismissed reports that he suffered from depression during the recovery from hip surgery.

Reports of Mitchell McCluskey from CNN in Atlanta and Marcia Reverdosa in São Paulo.

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