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Soccer icon Pele released from hospital after tumor surgery

Soccer icon Pele released from hospital after tumor surgery
Brazilian soccer legend Pele will undergo chemotherapy after his month-long stay at a Brazilian hospital. Photo by Sebastiao Moreira/EPA-EFE

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Pele returned home from his month-long stay at a Brazilian hospital after he had surgery to remove a tumor from his colon, the soccer legend said on social media.

"When the path is difficult, celebrate each step of the journey," Pele wrote Thursday on Facebook and Instagram.

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"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."

Pele, 80, first wrote about his surgery Sept. 6. He said the procedure occurred Sept. 4 at Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo.

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"I am so happy to be back at home. I want to thank the entire Albert Einstein Hospital team, who made my stay a pleasant one, with a humane and very affectionate welcome," Pele wrote Thursday on social media.

"Thanks also to all of you, who from afar, make my life complete with so many messages of love."

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The hospital said Pele will "continue with chemotherapy," according to a bulletin obtained by Gazeta Brazil and The Guardian.

Pele scored 1,025 goals from 1956 to 1977 as a professional soccer player for Brazil's Santos and the New York Cosmos. He also won the World Cup three times with Brazil.

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