Brazil great Pele has revealed he has undergone surgery to remove a tumour from his colon.
The three-time World Cup winner, 80, has pledged to meet his illness “with a smile on my face”.
Pele helped Brazil to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and remains one of the global game’s most treasured figures.
He confirmed his hospital treatment in a short social media statement, vowing to keep an upbeat outlook.
“Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon,” Pele posted on Instagram.
“The tumour was identified during the tests I mentioned last week. Fortunately I am used to celebrating great victories alongside you.
“I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”
Pele officially scored 757 career goals, leaving him behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Josef Biscan on the all-time list. Brazilian club Santos however claim that number is closer to 1,000.