Pele backs Brazil in his World Cup predictions

Tuesday 10 Jun 2014
Pele backs Brazil to lift the World Cup on home turf
Brazil and World Cup legend Pele believes England have what it takes to get beyond the group stages at this summer’s extravaganza in his homeland.

The Three Lions face opposition from Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D, starting on Saturday evening in Manaus when they face Cesare Prandelli’s Italian team.

And while Pele acknowledges that it is going to be a tricky group for all four of those nations to contend with, he thinks Roy Hodgson’s squad have enough experience and quality in the ranks to get through.

Pele celebrates winning the World Cup in 1970.

Pele celebrates World Cup success with Brazil in 1970

 

"England have a difficult group but I think they could pass," he admitted.

"The World Cup is a very short tournament and the experienced players always do well.

"Wayne Rooney has not scored [in a World Cup final stage] but he was fantastic for the team. 

"He was always the player who fought more for the team – I would like him in my team, you know!"

Pele won the World Cup three times during his playing days, firstly as a teenager in 1958 in Sweden before helped the South Americans defend their title in Chile in 1962 and then winning it for a final time in Mexico in 1970.

And he believes Luiz Felipe Scolari can lead his homeland to a sixth World Cup honour in front of their own supporters this year, but also has a few other tips on who might run them close.

"Always, always I trust Brazil are going to win the final, it doesn’t matter against who," revealed the former Santos star.

"But besides Brazil I see Germany, Germany have a good team. 

“We have to respect Spain because Spain always use the same players. 

"In South America, I think Argentina and maybe Chile – Chile have a good team, I saw Chile play and they could be a surprise."

By Nicholas Veevers