World Cup: Pele tells Weekend Warm-Up why 2014 tournament means so much to Brazil
Pele tells Sky Sports about the teams and players he expects to make their mark at the 2014 World Cup.
Last Updated: 01/11/13 7:19pm
And as the World Cup in his native Brazil draws ever closer, who better to tell us about the competition than a man who has picked up the trophy three times and scored 12 goals in the process?
In a special interview for Weekend Warm-Up on Sky Sports News, Geoff Shreeves sat down with Pele to talk about the teams and players he expects to make their mark next summer and about why the competition is so important for his country.
He also told us a few stories from his amazing life and career inside and outside football...
Pele on...why the 2014 World Cup means so much to him
It is very important for us. We live football and for me it is a special moment because everybody knows my history. I was nine years old or eight years old in the fifties when Brazil played the World Cup in Brazil. I was with my father listening because at that time we did not have TV. I was listening and Brazil lost the World Cup. Now we have an opportunity to recover that and it is a very important moment for us.
Pele on...why the 2014 World Cup will be good for Brazil
I think this is the moment for Brazil to grow. This is the moment to bring the tourists to the country. Brazil now has three excellent events; you have the Confederations Cup, you have the World Cup and then you're going to have the Olympics. I think this is important for the country. This is the moment to really show the country and to make promotion and to grow as a country. We cannot miss this moment. Unfortunately before the Confederations Cup we had a little problem there, political problems, but I hope the World Cup and the Olympics will be clean.
Pele on...Brazil's chances of winning the World Cup
My heart wants Brazil, no doubt. We have proved we have excellent players all over the world, but what we need is to have a good team because Brazil has individual players all over the world. I hope to have a nice team.
Pele on...the teams most likely to pick up the trophy
At the moment I think the two best teams that I saw - and when you get to the World Cup it could be different and could change - are Spain and Germany. They are the two teams that I saw and that I like and that could be very strong teams for the World Cup.
Pele on...England and the other nations with a chance
Of course you have Argentina and you cannot forget Argentina. You have England and you cannot forget them and Italy. All the big names, when they get to the World Cup, they have an opportunity. Sometimes you get surprises and the best teams don't come to the final. I have one example for the youngsters; Brazil in '82 in Spain was the best team with Zico, Junior and Falcao and Brazil lost to Italy. Football is a box of surprises!
Pele on...whether the World Cup should be expanded
I don't think it would make a difference because what is important is the nice show and nice games. People go there and they pay and they are fanatical and they want to see a nice game. If you have 20 very good games it is better than 14, but I don't think it makes any difference.
Pele on...the most exciting player in the world right now
There is not only one. There are some good players at the moment that are different, but there is no doubt Lionel Messi is a good player. We have grown at Santos, my team, Neymar. He has come to Barcelona and I hope he has the same luck and the same performances he had in Brazil. Then Cristiano Ronaldo is a different style. I liked Robinho until three years ago, but we have a lot of players who play very good.
Pele on...why he admires Wayne Rooney
Of course I know Wayne Rooney and I think he is an example for a lot of players. He is an excellent player. Maybe you cannot compare him technically with Cruyff, Beckenbauer or Bobby Charlton but for the team as an example on the field, he is one of my idols, no doubt.
Pele on...how he got the name Pele
I was born in a small town called Three Hearts (Três Corações) and when I was born, at the same time came the lights, and then my father gave me the name Edson after Thomas Edison. I was very proud to be named after the engineer of the lights and I told everybody my name was Edson. Then when I moved to play with the kids in another city where my father went to play because my father was a soccer player too then I don't know if I made some mistakes. In Portuguese when you kick with the foot it's called 'pe'. Maybe because I made some mistake and didn't kick well they said 'Pele'. I was fighting everybody saying 'no, my name is Edson,' but now I love Pele. It is big and important for me.
Watch the video at the top of the page to see more from Pele including his health, his worldwide fame and why some of his misses are more famous than his goals.