After more than a week in an intensive care unit (ICU), Brazilian football legend Pele said he was ready for "90 minutes, plus extra time."
He left the ICU of a Sao Paulo hospital on Tuesday following surgery to remove a colon tumor.
The 80-year-old, three-time World Cup winner was admitted to Alberto Einstein hospital after the tumor was found during routine tests. The tumor was removed earlier this month and sent for analysis.
"My friends, this is a message for each of you. Don't think for a minute that I haven't read the thousands of loving messages I've received around here," Pele said on Instagram.
"Thank you very much to each one of you, who dedicated a minute of your day to send me positive energy. Love, love and love! I have already left the ICU and I am in my room.
"I continue every day happier, with a lot of disposition to play 90 minutes, plus extra time. We will be together soon!"
Pele has suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided. His public appearances were already being cut before the COVID-19 pandemic and since then he has made few unnecessary forays outside his house near Santos.
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