Football: Pele back in hospital

Pele in an April 17, 2015, file photo in New York.
Pele in an April 17, 2015, file photo in New York.REUTERS

SAO PAULO (AFP) - Brazilian football legend Pele, 74, is back in hospital in Sao Paulo and has undergone spinal surgery, TV Globo announced on Saturday.

The Albert Einstein hospital did not make any comment on the request of the family, but Globo said that Pele underwent the operation on Thursday and was recovering well.

He is expected to be discharged on Monday.

Pele, the only player to win the World Cup three times, has been admitted to the same hospital several times going back to 2012.

In May, the global sporting icon was hospitalised for four days and had surgery for an enlarged prostate.

Last November, he underwent surgery for kidney stones and then came down with an infection that required treatment in a hospital intensive care unit for several days.

His one remaining kidney - the other was removed following a rib injury during his playing days - stopped working and had to be treated with dialysis.

He also had surgery on his femur in November 2012.

Pele was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.

The athlete, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time.

Born on Oct 23, 1940, Pele won his first World Cup in Sweden in 1958 and was also part of the Brazil sides that triumphed in 1962 and 1970.