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Pele jokes he is ready to ‘play 90 minutes and extra-time’ after leaving intensive care unit

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Football legend Pele jokes he is ready to ‘play 90 minutes and extra-time’ after 80-year-old leaves intensive care unit in Sao Paulo following surgery to remove a colon tumour

  • Football icon Pele has had surgery on his colon and has now left intensive care
  • Three-time World Cup winner had been receiving care since earlier this month
  • Doctors removed a tumour from his colon and Pele, 80, is still in hospital
  • Brazil legend thanked fans for their support and cracked a joke on Instagram 











Pele has been moved out of intensive care as the Brazil football great continues his recovery from surgery – and he even had time to share a smiling photo on Instagram alongside a joke.

The 80-year-old three-time World Cup winner has been in the Alberto Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo since doctors removed a tumour from his colon earlier this month.

However, he confirmed in a post that he has now left intensive care and appears in good spirits, even joking he was now ready to play ’90 minutes and extra time!’  

Pele shared a photo of himself smiling after he was moved out of intensive care post-surgery 

The 80-year-old is still in hospital as he continues his recovery from surgery on his colon

He said: ‘My friends, this is a message for each of you. Don’t think for a minute that I haven’t read the thousands of loving messages I’ve received around here.

‘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! I have already left the intensive care unit and I am in my room. I continue every day happier, with a lot of disposition to play 90 minutes, plus extra time. We will be together soon!’

Yesterday, his daughter Kely Nascimento confirmed he would be moved out of intensive care to a ‘regular room’ following the surgery. 

‘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!) He will move into a regular room in the next day or two and then go home,’ Nascimento said on Instagram.

His daughter Kely Nascimento had shared a positive update on the health of the Brazil legend

His daughter Kely Nascimento had shared a positive update on the health of the Brazil legend

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‘He is strong and stubborn and with the support and care of the brilliant team at Einstein and all of the love, energy and light that the world is sending, he will get through this!’

The hospital said last Friday that Pele was recovering satisfactorily.

His suspected tumour was detected during routine tests, and Pele underwent successful surgery.

After the procedure, his medical team said he was ‘conscious, conversing actively and is maintaining normal vital signs.’ 

All-time great Pele has won the World Cup three times and is his country's leading goalscorer

All-time great Pele has won the World Cup three times and is his country’s leading goalscorer

Pele, the former Santos forward, has struggled with health issues for several years.

He required surgery on his prostate in 2015, having been admitted to hospital twice in the space of six months.

In 2019, he was admitted again for a urinary infection – and in February of last year, his son Edinho said Pele was reluctant to leave the house because of hip issues.  

‘He is very sheepish, reclusive,’ he said. ‘Imagine, he’s the King, he was always such an imposing figure and today he can’t walk properly.

Plagued by health issues in recent years, Pele now uses a wheelchair during his public outings

Plagued by health issues in recent years, Pele now uses a wheelchair during his public outings

‘He’s embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house.’

Pele has been made to use walkers and wheelchairs to move around during his sparse public appearances in recent years, after a failed hip replacement in 2012.

After winning the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup with Brazil, Pele remains an all-time great, and is his country’s top goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.  

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