Pelé lists Chile among the favourites to win the World Cup
The folklore surrounding Pelé’s World Cup predictions has existed since he famously earmarked Colombia as potential winners of the competition in 1994. In a recent interview, he has once again revealed another South American surprise in his list of favourites.
Speaking to FIFA’s weekly magazine, the three-time World Cup winner talked about his expectations for the World Cup in Brazil.
"There are several good teams: Spain, Italy, Germany, Chile and obviously Argentina. Messi could be a big factor," said the King.
Some consider Pelé’s tips of success to be more of a jinx than anything. In 2013 a light-hearted publicity campaign was launched in Colombia asking the Brazilian legend not to select them as favourites. In 1994, despite great expectations, Carlos Valderrama and his Colombian side were eliminated in the first round.
Pelé also pondered a possible Argentinian victory on Brazilian soil: "Yes, it would not be ideal for us but Argentina have a very strong team with experienced players, which is what you need to win a World Cup".
In the interview, Pelé also said that he believed Neymar’s move to Europe could be ‘crucial’ for the Brazilian superstar’s performances at the World Cup. The Santos legend also expressed concern about a repeat of the demonstrations that overshadowed the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013.
"I hope Brazil embraces the opportunity given to it with the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. We want to show the world our positive attributes: Love for life, spirit and a beautiful country. Incidents like those that occurred during the Confederations Cup, when a sporting event was hindered by political protests, should not be allowed again," he said.