80-Year-Old Soccer Great Pelé Recovering From Surgery Thanks Well Wishers


80-year-old Pelé appears to be his cheerful self as he communicates with his social media followers during his post-surgical recovery at Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo. After being moved from ICU, he posted a warm thank you on Instagram, according to AP, on Sept. 15, 2021.

On September 4, his doctors removed a tumor from his colon. Two days later, Pelé declared the procedure a “great victory,” on his social media channels. “I thank God for feeling very well and for allowing Dr. Fabio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health.”

Pelé, a three-time World Cup winner with over 16 million Facebook and Instagram followers, added another post on the 14th:

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for taking a minute of your day to send me good vibes. Love, love and love! I’m already out of ICU and I’m in my room. I’m still more cheerful every day, in a lot of mood to play 90 minutes, plus overtime. We’ll be together soon!


In late August, he took to Twitter and told fans that he went in for routine tests, which were overdue due to the pandemic.

The soccer great denied reports that a fainting incident led him to the doctor for the exam, which led to discovering a mass on his colon.

He jokingly added, “Let them know I don’t play next week.”

Pelé’s daughter Kely Nacimentro also posted positive messages on her Twitter account. She expressed gratitude “from the bottom of my heart for all of the loving, concerned and supportive texts, DMs and emails you guys have sent me.” She apologized for not responding to all of the well-wishers individually, but she has read the messages and feels “hugged.”

In Brazil, Pelé is called the king of soccer. He won the World Cup in 1958, 1962, and 1970 and remains the country’s leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 games.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


NPR OPB: Pelé Is In Intensive Care After Surgery But Says He’s Doing Well; by Vanessa Romo
AP News: Brazilian soccer great Pelé leaves intensive care; by Mauricio Savarese
ESPN: Pele celebrates ‘great victory’ after successful surgery in Brazil

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Around the Rings1992’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

80-Year-Old Soccer Great Pelé Recovering From Surgery Thanks Well Wishers added by Cathy Milne-Ware on September 16, 2021
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