REUTERS, Sun. Oct. 24, 2021 –Former Brazilian soccer player Pele, not long out of the hospital after surgery to remove a tumour, thanked his fans on Saturday for wishing him a happy birthday as he turned 81.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all my Brazilian friends and not only from Brazil but from all over the world, who wished me the best, wished me happiness on my birthday,’’ Pele said in a video posted on his Instagram account.
To mark his birthday, photos of Pele were displayed at the CBF (Brazilian Soccer Confederation) headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. He did not give any details, but the former Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos player, has been in poor health for some time.
He is undergoing chemotherapy following September’s tumour surgery.
(AMANDALA Sports Ed. Note: “Former Brazilian soccer player Pele”? Come on, Reuters! At the very least, instead of just “Pele,” why not, “the legendary Pele”? Younger readers of this Ronaldo and Messi generation might not be aware that the only 3-time World Cup winner, Brazil’s Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, Pele, is indisputably the greatest football player of the last century, and to many of us, of all time. Kids, why not Google “Pele” and find out much more for yourselves, including a Wikipedia quote from Cristiano Ronaldo, who said: “Pelé is the greatest player in football history, and there will only be one Pelé.” Another Wikipedia quote is from England’s 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore, who commented: “Pelé was the most complete player I’ve ever seen, he had everything. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people. Only five feet and eight inches tall, yet he seemed a giant of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision. He was the greatest because he could do anything and everything on a football pitch. I remember Saldanha the coach being asked by a Brazilian journalist who was the best goalkeeper in his squad. He said Pelé. The man could play in any position”. From our sports desk, a belated Happy Birthday and best wishes for a full recovery to El Rei, Pele!)