Pele: Brazil legend, 80, has surgery to remove tumour

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Pele (pictured in 2019) is Brazil's top goalscorer. He is also one of four players who have scored in four World Cup tournaments.

Brazil legend Pele had surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.

After hearing that the 80 year-old was in hospital for six consecutive days, he posted to social media external-link Monday stating that he had had surgery to remove the "suspicious lesions" on Saturday.

The three-time World Cup winner said, "Fortunately, my experience is to celebrate great victories with you."

"I will face the match with a smile on mine, a lot optimism, and joy for living."

Five days ago, the Santos and New York Cosmos forward denied reports that he had fainted from an external-link link and said he had only been taking routine exams.

The tumour was found in the right colon during the last week's tests.

He said, "Thank God that I feel very well and for Dr Fabio's and Dr Miguel taking care of me,"

Pele's son Edinho, an ex-Santos goalkeeper, stated that his father was "embarrassed" by his inability to walk.

He has had a poor health record in recent years. In 2015, he underwent prostate surgery after being admitted to hospital for the second consecutive time in six months. In 2019, he was admitted to hospital for a bladder infection.

Pele, Brazil's most successful goal scorer, is one of four players who have scored in four World Cup tournaments.

According to Guinness Book of World Records he scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 appearances over his career. This includes 77 goals in 91 internationals played for Brazil.