Pele reveals successful surgery to remove tumour

By Sports Desk September 06, 2021

Pele has revealed he last week underwent successful surgery to remove a tumour in his large intestine.

The Brazil legend, who won three World Cups, had previously taken to Instagram to deny claims he had fainted, posting he was "in very good health" after "routine exams".

However, Pele reportedly remained in hospital and on Monday explained why he had required medical attention.

"Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon," the 80-year-old wrote on his social media page.

"The tumour was identified during the tests I mentioned last week. Fortunately, 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."

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    Kieran Tierney's participation at Euro 2024 is officially over after he was forced to leave the Scotland camp due to a hamstring injury he sustained in their draw with Switzerland.

    The Arsenal full-back – who spent the 2023-24 season on loan at Real Sociedad – was carried off on a stretcher late on in Wednesday's 1-1 draw in Cologne.

    Boss Steve Clarke immediately ruled Tierney out of their third Group A game, against Hungary on Sunday, and he will not be available for future games if they progress to the knockout rounds.

    Writing on Instagram, Tierney said: "Heartbroken doesn't cut it. Love this team and these boys. This too shall pass."

    Assistant head coach John Carver added on Friday: "He is heading home to be assessed by Arsenal and that's all I can really say at the moment.

    "They will give updates as they have it, but he is obviously extremely disappointed. If we do progress and move through the tournament, I am sure he will be back to support us."

  • As Carragher questions England approach, what does the data say about Southgate's substitutions? As Carragher questions England approach, what does the data say about Southgate's substitutions?

    Gareth Southgate's game management came under fire once again on Thursday, as England produced another underwhelming display in a 1-1 draw with Denmark.

    The Three Lions were second-best for long periods and appeared content to sit back after Harry Kane's 18th-minute opener, with Morten Hjulmand's rasping strike handing Denmark a point – the least they deserved.

    Former England defender Jamie Carragher was among those to highlight the lethargic nature of the display, saying more energy was required from the bench.

    Posting on X as Southgate made a triple substitution on the 70-minute mark, introducing Eberechi Eze, Jarrod Bowen and Ollie Watkins for Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Kane, Carragher wrote: "Pleased Southgate has made changes. By the look of England so far they are going to need real energy from the bench in every game. Disappointed Anthony Gordon wasn't one of those changes."

    Southgate's reluctance to use Gordon was a hot topic on social media, with England again looking lopsided in the absence of a natural left winger or left-back.

    Just 23.3% of England's attacking touches came on that flank, with 44.6% coming on the right-hand side, where Kyle Walker – not renowned for his attacking qualities – often looking like the Three Lions' best outlet.

    One major criticism of Southgate at recent tournaments has been a perceived failure to change games from the bench, but does the data back up that idea?

    As far as the Euros are concerned, yes. Southgate has made 33 substitutions in total at the 2020 and 2024 editions, with those players playing a total of 682 minutes.

    They have just one goal and one assist between them in that time. Both came at Euro 2020, with Jordan Henderson scoring in a 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine and Jack Grealish assisting Kane's header against Germany in the previous round.

    In 97 games under Southgate overall, England have scored 19 goals via substitutes, a paltry figure given the Three Lions have netted 207 times during his reign, playing 35 qualification matches against largely inferior opponents.

     

    Those goals have come via 13 players, with nobody netting more than two (Tammy Abraham, Danny Welbeck, Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount, Grealish and Kane).

    Notably, only two of those 13 players – Kane and Watkins – are in England's squad for this tournament. Rashford (32) and Grealish (21) have 53 substitute appearances between them under Southgate but were the two most high-profile omissions from his party.

    Carragher also believes Southgate must recognise "football is about picking the best team, not the best players".

    While Foden has appeared frustrated while stationed on the left-hand side, Trent Alexander-Arnold has struggled to aid England's ball progression in an unfamiliar midfield role – only eight of his 40 attempted passes against Denmark were into the final third.

    Carragher wrote for The Telegraph: "Unfortunately, two of the best Premier League footballers – Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden – will have to be sacrificed now.  Introducing Alexander-Arnold into midfield in a major tournament was always a risk. 

     

    "It is a more physically demanding position than full-back, and, on the evidence so far, Alexander-Arnold has more time and space to utilise his passing range when he is in the hybrid role.

    "Nobody loves watching Foden more than me. But for England to come up with a system that works and complements everyone, he cannot operate in the starting XI with Jude Bellingham and Kane if they are all trying to occupy the same space and positions."

    Foden did not have a single touch in the attacking third within the width of the six-yard box against Denmark, and when it came to making changes, Southgate preferred to stick with a below-par Bellingham rather than shift the Manchester City star infield.

    Southgate's substitutions will be key if England are to grow into this tournament, and the data suggests he has improvements to make in that area.

  • Slovakia 1-2 Ukraine: Super-sub Yaremchuk throws Euro 2024 Group E wide open Slovakia 1-2 Ukraine: Super-sub Yaremchuk throws Euro 2024 Group E wide open

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    Having been beaten 3-0 by Romania in their opening match, Ukraine looked on course for another loss when Ivan Schranz - Slovakia's matchwinner against Belgium - opened the scoring in Dusseldorf.

    Yet a much-improved second-half display saw Serhii Rebrov's team turn the match on its head, with substitute Yaremchuk capping a fine comeback.

    Mykola Shaparenko drilled in from Oleksandr Zinchenko's centre in the 54th minute to restore parity, and subsequently turned provider for Yaremchuk's winner 10 minutes from time.

    The striker brilliantly took down Shaparenko's searching pass over the top, taking it under his spell before slotting under Martin Dubravka, who should have done better.

    Ukraine are now level with Slovakia and Romania on three points, meaning Group E favourites Belgium are, as it stands, bottom of the pool. They play Romania on Saturday.

    Data Debrief: The kids are alright

    With an average age of 25 years and 259 days, Ukraine's starting XI was the youngest named by a side at Euro 2024 so far – and the first, in fact, with an average age below 26 years.

    Yaremchuk, meanwhile, became just the second Ukrainian substitute to score at a major tournament, alongside Artem Dovbyk vs Sweden at Euro 2020. That was also his third goal at a major tournament, with only Andriy Shevchenko netting more for Ukraine (four).

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