Pelé appeals to Brazilians to support the World Cup
At the recent inauguration of the 'Brazil, one country, one world' exhibition in the capital city Brasília, the three-time World Cup winner spoke about his desire for all Brazilians get behind the World Cup and help it leave a positive legacy.
When asked about the crowd violence that marred the final day of the Brasileirão season, Pelé told globoesporte: “These events, problems happen the same way in several countries. And it is not just football. Hopefully at the World Cup we can think more seriously in Brazil.”
“It will be a great opportunity for Brazil to become one of the largest countries in the world. It is the dearest but I think in those big sporting events [the World Cup and the Olympics] Brazil has the opportunity to grow as a country. So I think that all Brazilians should help us," asserted the 73 year-old.
The 'Brazil, one country, one world' exhibition will showcase iconic shirts, shoes and footballs from the history of the game and the national team in World Cups. It will travel through all the host cities ahead of the 2014 World Cup before finishing with a simultaneous exhibition in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in June.
Asked about his favourite football moments from his career, the Santos legend said: “[I was] the youngest player to compete in a World Cup and win the World Cup. These are things that we do not forget. Up to today, I am the only Brazilian player to have three cups, too.”
Whilst Pelé is keen that the coming World Cup be remembered for similarly iconic moments, many Brazilians are less optimistic. Protests are expected against the high cost of staging the event for a country still lacking in many basic public services.