Pelé: Brazil simply had to win the 1970 World Cup
Pelé was fortunate enough, and talented enough, to be victorious in three of the four World Cups he competed in and he has revealed why the 1970 triumph was one of the most important.
The Brazilian legend helped his team win in 1958, 1962 and eight years later in 1970, however the first tournament was a competition where he feels he played with little pressure.
In an interview with FIFA, Pelé said: “I played in four World Cups and we were lucky enough to win three.
“Everyone asks me if it was hard to play in the World Cup at the age of only 17, but I can honestly say that all I wanted at the time was to be in the team.
“It was like a dream. We won, but I didn’t have any responsibility on my shoulders.”
It was very different for the 73-year-old in his final World Cup in Mexico, though, and the kind of pressure he felt then is likely to fall on the shoulders of Neymar this time.
Pelé added: “In 1970 I was at my peak. We had a great team and it was my last World Cup. But if I compare it to the first one, when I didn’t have any experience, I have to say Mexico was tougher.
“We had a fantastic side and everyone expected us to win, which gave me the shakes. I was very nervous and under a lot of pressure.
“Maybe people have forgotten, but the political situation in Brazil was not good and we felt that we simply had to win the title. That was the difference. Thank God we were able to do it.”