Beijing, Mar 12: Brazilian football legend Pele has said he is confident that his country will deliver a ‘memorable’ performance in the 2014 World Cup, which he added is a great opportunity for Brazil.
Brazil’s organization of the World Cup has been marred by negative headlines about the struggle to get some of the 12 stadiums finished on time, with the threat of the violence in last year’s Confederations Cup adding to the tension.
However, China Daily reports that Pele said Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil team can handle the huge pressure of being the host players, adding that tournament is a great opportunity to get revenue in the form of tourism and will be fantastic for Brazil.
Pele said he believes the Brazilian government is better prepared for the World Cup after the experience of the Confederations Cup, adding that it is important for Brazil to shine in the tournament as they have had only three big opportunities to showcase the country – the Confederations Cup, the World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games.
Pele further said that it is important that any ensuing demonstrations do not harm the event, and backed Barcelona star Neymar to carry the hope of the nation on his young shoulders, although he admitted the fear of failure this time around is massive as it is Neymar’s first World Cup and a big responsibility for him.
Winner of the World Cup three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Pele was just 17 when he rose to international prominence at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.
Brazil, which will come up against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A, could potentially meet Chile – which is in Group B – in the last 16, the report added. (ANI)