Pelé admits himself to hospital with cancer

Written by Staff Writer by Jim Boulden, CNN

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has been admitted to hospital in Rio de Janeiro for treatment of endometrial cancer, but said on Twitter that he would be released in the coming days.

“To my dear family and to all my fans, I would like to share that I have been admitted to hospital in Rio de Janeiro today,” he said.

“I am very tired but I will return home in the coming days with the support of all of you. Love you all.”

A statement released by doctors at Rio’s University Hospital said the 86-year-old would stay there for “a few days” after receiving “aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.”

The statement added that the cancer was not in any spread stage.

Pelé is revered around the world for his prowess on the soccer field and for his revolutionary fitness regime, which was pioneered and widely emulated in his native Brazil.

He led his country to their first and only World Cup victory in 1958.

“It’s been a bad month for the soccer world and my heart goes out to Brazil’s national team during their preparations and World Cup duty,” he said on his Facebook page, adding that his wish was to recover quickly so that he could celebrate “Brazil’s biggest sporting moment of the year: the World Cup.”

Pelé previously spent 13 months in hospital after suffering a heart attack in July 2016. He also underwent minor heart surgery in 2003, and again in 2010.

A lifelong Catholic, Pelé attends mass weekly in Rio and founded Brazil’s renowned Pelé Boys Football Academy to give young boys access to football training.

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