Pele ready for ‘extra time’ after leaving ICU

Pele said he is ready for “90 minutes, plus extra time” after leaving the intensive care unit of a Sao Paulo hospital following surgery to remove a tumour from his colon.

The 80-year-old, three-time World Cup winner was admitted to Albert Einstein hospital after the tumour was found during routine tests. The tumour was removed earlier this month and sent for analysis.

“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,” Pele said on Instagram.

“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 ICU 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!”

Pele has suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided. His public appearances were already being minimised before the COVID-19 pandemic and since then he has made few unnecessary forays outside his house near Santos.

Earlier this week, his daughter Kely Nascimento posted on social media to confirm the procedure had been successful and that Pele was not in any pain following the surgery.

“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,” she added.

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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