Football icon Pele released from hospital after surgery
The Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo released a picture of a smiling Pele wearing sportswear and waving at the camera with his partner, Marcia Cibele Aoki.
The 74-year-old, who was treated at the same facility last year for a severe urinary tract infection, was discharged at 6:30 pm (2130 GMT), it said.
The only player to win three World Cup titles underwent a surgical procedure four days ago known as a transurethral resection of the prostate, which is performed for enlargement of the prostate that causes difficulty urinating.
“Examination results revealed that this is a benign hyperplasia, and therefore there was no incidence of tumors,” a medical report indicated Friday.
Media reports said the surgery for an enlarged prostate — a common condition in aging men — was aimed at preventing a repeat of the urinary infection that sent Pele to hospital last year.
The global sports icon has suffered a number of health crises in recent months.
He underwent surgery for kidney stones in November, and then came down with an infection that required treatment in a hospital intensive care unit for several days.
His one remaining kidney — the other was removed following a rib injury during his playing days — stopped working and had to be treated with dialysis.
He was also operated on the femur in November 2012.
– Olympic ambitions? –
After a hospital stay last year, the football great joked with reporters about his ambitious plans for Rio 2016, saying “I am preparing for the Olympics!”
But he conceded that he has faced a series of health setbacks in recent years, saying he thought that “God was ignoring” him.
Pele was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.
The sportsman, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time.
“O Rei” (The King), as he is affectionately called, was born on October 23, 1940 in a humble home in the city of Tres Coracoes and exploded into Brazilian football as a young phenom.
He would go on to score a total of 77 goals in 91 games for his football-mad country across a remarkable career that included two more World Cup titles, in 1962 and 1970.
In 1977, he inspired the New York Cosmos to the US national title in his final season with the club, which also featured fellow greats Franz Beckenbauer, Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and former Brazil captain Carlos Alberto.
Pele scored a total 1,281 goals in his sparkling career.
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