The three-time World Cup winner has rarely been seen in public since undergoing hip replacement surgery in 2012.
Former Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento "Pele" has been in the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo for 6 days after undergoing a series of routine examinations.
On Aug. 31, he went to the hospital for tests he had postponed due to the pandemic. During these routine tests, doctors detected some physiological alterations and decided to keep him under surveillance.
The 80-year-old's wellbeing was the subject of speculation. However, Pele has moved to reassure fans that he is feeling fine after being taken to hospital.
"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," Pele said a week ago.
“Last Saturday, I had surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in my right colon. The tumor was identified during the tests that I mentioned last week,” he tweeted on Monday.
The three-time World Cup winner has rarely been seen in public since undergoing hip replacement surgery in 2012. He has since battled a series of prostate and kidney problems that have often required treatment in hospital. Last year, Pele's son Edinho said his father was battling a "kind of depression" because of his fragile health and declining mobility.
Pele scored a world record tally of 1,281 goals in a 1,363-match professional career that spanned 21 years. He was capped 91 times for Brazil and scored 77 international goals.