Pele, arguably the greatest footballer in history, had prostate surgery at the Albert Einstein Hospital, officials at the facility said Thursday.

The three-time World Cup winner is in stable condition, hospital officials said in a statement.

Doctors performed a transurethral resection of the prostate, according to the hospital. The surgery is done to relieve moderate to severe urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says on its website the inside part of the prostate gland is removed during the procedure. It says the patient usually remains in the hospital one to three days after the surgery.

Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was hospitalized in November at Albert Einstein, where he received kidney dialysis for several days. He was hospitalized for about two weeks.

The 74-year-old icon had one kidney removed during his days as a player, his aide, Jose Fornos Rodrigues, said last year.

Known as “The Black Pearl” and simply “The King,” Pele is one of the best known names in all of sports.

He burst onto the scene as a teenager, helping lead his native Brazil to the 1958 World Cup championship. Pele went on to star on two other World Cup title teams as well, in 1962 and 1970, in addition to a breakthrough career with the Brazilian club Santos and later with the New York Cosmos of the now-defunct North American Soccer League.

In 2000, he and Argentina’s Diego Maradona were named Co-Players of the Century by FIFA, the international soccer governing body.

Even after retiring from football, Pele has remained in the public eye as a product pitchman, ambassador for the sport of football and advocate for Brazil’s poor, having grown up among them in Tres Coracoes.


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