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Pele backs Brazil to win World Cup

Brazil great Pele believes his country are among the favourites to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The South American giants will host the tournament and will be aiming to win the coveted trophy for the first time since 2002.

Pele, 72, said Brazil had the talent to challenge for the title, and believes Spain and Germany will be their biggest threats.

“I think Brazil has an excellent opportunity to be in the final of the World Cup. To win is tough because football always brings a lot of surprises,” he said.

“Brazil has some great players and we have discussed in Brazil that we had almost three years with the same coach – Mano Menezes.

“Unfortunately these three years we did not have a base. One month with Luiz Felipe Scolari and it has changed.”

Neymar, Oscar and Lucas Moura are all developing stars, while Brazil’s defence will be led by David Luiz and Thiago Silva.

Pele, who won three World Cup winners’ medals, said there was still a long way to go before the 32-team tournament but believes Brazil are playing the kind of football the country can be proud of.

“I have always favoured having a good team who play good football and this is important for everybody in Brazil,” he said.

“I think if you have to select now, a year before the World Cup, everything could change but I think Germany have a good team which could surprise and Spain no doubt and Brazil.”

Pele also spoke about how important it is for Brazil to be ready to host upcoming events, the first of which is the Confederations Cup starting on June 15 and includes the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“We were worried a little bit – five or eight months ago. It was a little complicated but I think now everything is almost there,” he said.

“We have the Confederations Cup now, then the World Cup and after the Olympics. Three great events in Brazil and we must be prepared for that.

“This is a great opportunity for our country and we must be prepared for that.”

Wed 5 June, 2013
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