Footballing legend Pele on Monday said he had an apparent tumour on the right side of his colon removed in an operation and is now "feeling very well."

In a statement posted on Instagram, the octogenarian gave updates about his health, saying, "Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon. The tumor was identified during the tests I mentioned last week."

ALSO READ | ‘Hope we will play soccer together in the sky’ Pele grieves over Maradona’s demise

Furthermore, thanking his well-wishers for the messages and his doctors for taking care of his health, the three-time World Cup winner wrote: "My friends, thank you very much for the kind messages. I thank God for feeling very well and for allowing Dr. Fábio and Dr. Miguel to take care of my health."

In a message to his fans, the former Santos player added, "I'm 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."

Earlier, Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said the 80-year-old Brazilian great is in an intensive care unit and will be transferred to a regular room on Tuesday, according to Associated Press inputs.

ALSO READ | Brazil vs Argentina World Cup qualifier suspended: What we know so far

He went to the hospital for routine exams last week when the tumour was found. The hospital said in a statement the tumour was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory exams. It added it collected samples to be analyzed for pathologies, AP reported.

The 80-year-old has had mobility problems since a failed hip replacement surgery in 2012. He has been forced to use walkers and wheelchairs in public. He has also been admitted to hospitals in recent years for kidney and prostate procedures.

Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77.