Fri Oct 21 02:39:28 SAST 2016


By unknown | Mar 25, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SAO PAULO - Ronaldinho's experience could have a calming effect on Brazil's youthful World Cup side if coach Dunga recalls the 30-year-old to the squad, Pele told Reuters.

Three-time World Cup winner Pele said he would pick Ronaldinho, who turned 30 on Sunday and has played at two finals, helping Brazil win their fifth title in 2002.

The 69-year-old also said Lionel Messi needed a well-organised Argentina side in which to exhibit his brilliant Barcelona form, while England and Spain would be dangerous opponents at the June 11 to July 11 tournament in South Africa.

Pele praised Dunga's record but was concerned about a possible lack of World Cup experience among the players expected to be picked for the squad.

"I think Brazil are on the right track but we have to be careful because the majority of the players have never played at a World Cup before, so there will be a lot of pressure and we must see how those players handle it," Pele said.

"If Ronaldinho keeps playing as he is now. I believe he would be a good component because he could help when the younger players feel the pressure."

Ronaldinho, who last played for Brazil last April, has been in good form for AC Milan this year but appears to be out of Dunga's plans.

Pele said Brazil and fellow favourites Spain could expect tough opposition from the likes of Argentina, despite their poor qualifying campaign.

"Even teams that are not in form, like Argentina, who practically qualified in last place, we've got to respect them because they're a country accustomed to playing the World Cup," he said. "Another country that has not been doing well but who will be difficult to beat is England, who can take a very strong team (to South Africa). They can reach the last four."

Pele identified Messi, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Robinho of Brazil as players with the potential to light up the World Cup. But he feels Messi might be unable to reproduce the fantastic form he is showing at Spanish club Barcelona.

"He's a great player, he's playing marvellously at Barcelona but when he goes to the national team he doesn't play as well," Pele said.

"That is possibly because the national team doesn't have the same group as Barcelona." - Reuters


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