Brazil football legend Pele ‘stable’ after respiratory problems

The 80-year-old was hospitalised again due to respiratory problems days after surgery for a suspected colon tumour.

Pele is the only player in history to win three World Cups [File: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images]

Brazilian football icon Pele is in a “stable” condition following his readmission to an intensive care unit for respiratory problems, days after undergoing surgery for a suspected colon tumour.

Pele was discharged earlier this week but returned to Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital on Friday for “a brief respiratory instability”.

The 80-year-old football great was initially admitted to an ICU as a “preventive measure” and had later been moved to “semi-intensive care”. He is now “stable from a cardiovascular and respiratory point of view”, the hospital said.

Kely Nascimento, Pele’s daughter, said on Instagram that “he is recovering well, under normal conditions, I promise!”

“The normal recovery scenario for a man of his age after an operation like this is sometimes two steps forward and one step back,” she added.

“Yesterday he was tired and he took a step back. Today, he has taken two steps forward.”

Nascimento also posted a photo, which she said “was taken just now”, of the three-time World Cup winner wearing a black vest and smiling for the camera.

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is the only player in history to win three World Cups – in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time.

At the end of 2014, he suffered from a serious urinary tract infection and was placed in intensive care and on dialysis. He has also suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided.

On September 6, he underwent surgery for a suspected colon tumour, which was detected during routine tests. He left the ICU unit on Tuesday, telling his fans on social media that he was recovering well.

“I thank God for feeling very well,” Pele wrote on his Instagram page on Monday.

“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you,” he told his fans. “I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies