Pele recovering having re-entered intensive care unit in Sao Paulo

Brazil football great Pele "took a little step back'' in his recovery from surgery to remove a tumor from his colon, his daughter Kely Nascimento said Friday, but he is "recovering well'' at a Sao Paulo hospital.

The hospital said Pele "presented a brief respiratory instability" and was admitted to an ICU as a "preventive measure."   -  AFP

Brazilian football legend Pele, 80, was briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit on Friday after suffering breathing difficulties but is now stable, said the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month.

The transfer was a temporary "preventative measure," the hospital said in a statement, adding that the sporting great was later transferred to "semi-intensive care" as he continues to recover from surgery for a suspected colon tumor.

"He is currently stable from a cardiovascular and respiratory point of view," it added.

Shortly afterwards, the ex-footballer posted a message on social media stating: "Friends, I am still recovering very well. Today I received visits from family, and I am still smiling every day."

Pele's daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital, seeking to cheer up his fans.

"This is the normal recovery scenario for a man his age. After an operation like this, sometimes you take two steps forward, one step back," Nascimento wrote on Instagram next to the photo.

 

"Yesterday, he was tired, and he took a step back. Today, he has taken two steps forward," she added.

In the photo, Pele is seen on what looks like a hospital bed in a black puff vest or jacket, alert and smiling.

"He is recovering well, under normal conditions, I promise!" Nascimento added. "There is a lot of angst in the world these days, and we don't want to add to it."

On September 6, the hospital said Pele had undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumor.

Pele leaves intensive care  

He originally left the ICU unit on Tuesday, telling his fans on social media that he was feeling happier by the day and was looking forward to reuniting with them.

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

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer, Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years and has had various stints in the hospital.

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 host Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

Four years later, Pele gave a tantalizing glimpse of his ability with an electric individual goal against Mexico in Brazil's opening 2-0 win.

"O Rei" (The King) went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.

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