Soccer Great Pele Hospitalized, Undergoing Chemotherapy Treatments

Image Credit: Twitter @Pele screen shot

Soccer legend Pele is hospitalized again in Brazil, dealing with his cancer diagnosis. He is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments after learning this month that he has colon cancer.

According to reports, the legend receives chemo at Sao Paolo Hospital Albert Einstein. Both the hospital and Pele’s assistant announced the update this week.

A Legend In Treatment

Pele is trying to treat cancer discovered during a regular exam in September.

In September, the legend underwent surgery to remove a tumor and spent almost a month in the hospital after the cancer diagnosis.

However, according to reports, the hospital plans to discharge Pele in the next few days. The national sports hero is currently in stable condition, according to reports.

Pele Speaks

“When the path is difficult, celebrate each step of the journey,” he wrote on Instagram during his last hospital admission.

“Focus on your happiness. It’s true that I can’t jump anymore, but these past few days, I’ve been punching the air more times than usual.”

Last year, Pele’s son said his father was depressed over his poor health. He was also reportedly reluctant to leave the house due to not walking without assistance.

The Legend of Pele

Pele is considered the greatest soccer player ever and a national treasure for Brazil and South American sports.

The 81-year-old FIFA “Player Of The Century” is also the only man to win the World Cup three times after leading Brazil to their first title in 1958.

He is also Brazil’s all-time leading international scorer with 77 goals. Pele scored more than 1,000 in his playing career before retiring from the game in 1977.

Pele was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993, and his name transcends the sport globally.

To this day, breaking Pele’s records is the quest of current players.

Chasing Greatness

Cristiano Ronaldo broke Pele’s unofficial record of 767 career goals in March of 2021.

However, Pele has stated on social media that he has scored 1,283 goals. This number, however, includes goals scored in amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.

Still, Pele showed his signature class and respect for the players and the game, congratulating Ronaldo when the feat was achieved.

All Class

“Life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having. I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone,” Pele wrote on social media.

“Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today.”

FIFA does not keep an official record of which athlete leads the all-time scoring list. Safe to say, today’s scorekeeping is more accurate than when Pele revolutionized the game. However, the world defers to Pele when discussing the all-time top scorer.

Next Generation

In September, Lionel Messi surpassed Pele as the top international goalscorer in South American history. Messi achieved the honor with a hat trick in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier, overtaking Brazilian legend Pele.

Messi’s teammate Neymar sits behind Pele at third on the South American goal scorers list with 68.

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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.