Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Football Legend Pele predicts Africa has a great chance of making it to the World Cup Final

After presenting the bid for the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games before the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa that was held yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria. Arguably the greatest football player to play the beautiful game was kind enough to talk about Africa's chances in the 2010 World Cup. Here are quotes from the Legend:

"If you remember, ten years ago I started mentioning about how football in Africa will grow and get better and better. Africa gets a lot of players in Europe and they have a lot of experience, and with adequate preparation it will not be a surprise to see Africa in the finals or the quarter-final at the South Africa 2010 World Cup.

"You can see that at the Confederation Cup, South Africa for the first time, was at the semi-final and United States was at the final. So there are no big teams in football now. All countries are equal. Now, we have to respect the developing countries"

Pele talked about the huge salaries players get paid these days. He said there is a need for players to be committed more to their teams than allowing the love for money to dictate their movement. Pele let us know that FIFA is looking at ways of addressing the issue.

"I agree with you, in my time we needed to play for ten years to get the kind of money being paid to young players in one year today, but it is a different life at the moment. During my time we did not have big companies investing in football.

"What we discussed in the committee of FIFA was that players should be more honest to themselves and the clubs because players at the moment are in the habit of changing clubs every year. They play in Europe and the next year they are in Madrid or go to Italy or England, and the next year they change the club again. It means they don't have the love for the team but the love for money.

"So, that is what the new generation of players will have to pay attention to because no loyalty anymore, they are just looking for money, and that is the big problem we have to face in future."

Pele also answered questions pertaining to the Super Eagles:

"I've been here sometime ago, then it was a tournament in Nigeria, they had a good team and based on that, I hope Nigeria will still have a good team because the moment is very important.

"Nigerian players are good and they have excellent players in Europe and at the moment we have one year to prepare the team."

Finally, we get to find out what the Legend has been up to lately, "I am working with kids in school and also with FIFA. At the moment I am a member of the FIFA Committee; again, six years ago I was a Minister of Sports and I have continued to make friends all over the world.


Related story: Mourinho's visit to Ilorin, Nigeria ruffles feathers



  1. Nice post.i learned many more about the world cup football from this post and. about pele he is my hero.thanks for posting.

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