Brazilian football legend Pele has been reportedly hospitalised for treatment of a previously identified colon tumor.
Born Edson Arantes de Nascimento, Pele was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo “for follow-up treatment of the colon tumor identified in September this year,” his medical team said in a statement.
“The patient is stable, and is expected to be released in the coming days.”
The 81-year-old icon underwent surgery for the tumor on September 4, spending a month in the hospital before being released to continue chemotherapy.
The three-time world champion’s public relations agency described the latest hospital stay as routine.
“He went in for chemo. He always has to go to the hospital for the treatment,” it said in a note.
Considered by many as the greatest footballer of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele’s real name — has been in poor health in recent years, and has spent more time in than out of the hospital.
He uses a walker at his latest public appearances, which have grown increasingly rare.
However, Pele maintains an active presence on social media, recently congratulating Lionel Messi for winning his seventh Ballon d’Or and posting a tribute to fellow legend Diego Maradona on the first anniversary of his death.
The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele burst onto the global stage at just 17 by scoring dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.
He went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.