Brazilian great Pele is looking forward to enjoying the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after being discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

The 74-year-old three-time World Cup winner spent 16 days at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo after being diagnosed with an infection that stemmed from an operation to remove kidney stones but, having left semi-intensive care over the weekend, he is now feeling "recovered".

Quoted in Brazilian newspaper O Globo, he told a press conference: "Thank God I'm well and recovered. I want to thank everyone who sent messages - I've been thrilled and surprised.

"I've had messages from China, Pakistan, from almost all the European countries.

"It is gratifying and good to know that I had the support of so many people around the world who were hoping the situation improved.

"Now I am preparing for the Olympics!"

Pele was originally hospitalised for the removal of kidney stones after fainting during a Santos match and complaining of abdominal pain.

Eleven days after undergoing surgery, he was hospitalised again after feeling ill and was subsequently diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.

He has only one kidney, having had one removed towards the end of his playing career.

The former striker underwent haemodialysis in a semi-intensive care unit for several days until his kidney recovered its functions.

He began to show medical improvement last Friday and was in such positive spirits that he posted a video on Facebook that showed him playing guitar.

Pele was moved into his own room on Saturday before leaving hospital altogether three days later.

UEFA president Michel Platini was pleased to hear the man voted FIFA's player of the century in 2000 was back in good health.

"We are all very happy to know he is leaving hospital," the Frenchman told radio station Europe 1.

"Pele is the greatest player in history and deserves to stay with us for a long time to come."