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Pele slams Neymar, fears for Brazil

21 February 2013-AFP

Neymar Brazil

Neymar .. 'ordinary player' for Brazil, Pele says. (AP)

Brazil legend Pele has criticised the form of Neymar for the national team, expressing fears the team will not do well at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on home soil.

"I am very worried by the Brazilian side," Pele said in an interview with Estado de Sao Paulo daily.

"We had three years with (coach) Mano Menezes and did not obtain any benefit from those three years."

Pele, 72, reserved some of his toughest criticism for Neymar, touted as Brazil's big star of the future.

"Neymar, every time he plays for the Selecao, he becomes an ordinary player," Pele said.

"In all the games abroad he played badly. They all think he can solve the Selecao's problems (but) Neymar is not ready to shoulder this pressure. He does not play abroad. European football is different from the Latin American game.

"We from Santos say he is the best in the world, but he is aready more concerned with media appearances than playing for the team. He is preoccupied with changing his style, his haircut.

Pele further observed after watching recent Brazil games on television that, in his view the team, had "no structure, no harmony".

Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led Brazil to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, returned in early December after Menezes's sacking to work alongside another former coach in Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Scolari has, in Pele's view "already radically changed the team".

"But the experience has to be undertaken with new players. We already know how the experienced ones, such as (the recalled) Ronaldinho play."

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