Soccer legend Pele was recovering in the intensive care unit at a Brazil hospital on Monday after he had a tumor removed from his colon.
Pele made the revelation of the surgery on Facebook.
“My friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. I thank God for feeling very well and for allowing Dr. Fábio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health. Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon. The tumor was identified during the tests I mentioned last week,” he wrote.
“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you. 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.”
Last week, Pele had to make sure to tell his followers and fans he was in “good health” after he fainted.
“Guys, I didn’t faint and I’m in very good health. I went for my routine exams, which I had not been able to do before because of the pandemic. Let them know I don’t play next Sunday,” he joked in a tweet.
The 80-year-old Pele is the only male soccer player to win three World Cups, but in recent years his health has deteriorated to a point where he’s had to use walkers and wheelchairs. He had failed hip replacement surgery in 2012 and has been in the hospital for kidney and prostate issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.