FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Brazil must form a cohesive team in order to lift the World Cup on home soil in two years, according to Pelé.
The former Seleção star said the collective unit under Mano Menezes isn't strong enough yet to withstand the withering pressure associated with trying to lift a sixth World Cup title.
Pelé said Menezes is a “little insecure” at the moment and he must find a way to combine the talents of his stars to create a team capable of meeting those lofty expectations.
“Sometimes, you have excellent players, but you do not have a team,” Pelé said during a press conference to announce a partnership between Sovereign | Santander and the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
“I think what Brazil needs is a team. We've played several games. More or less, we've played good and then we've played bad.”
In order to rectify the concerns surrounding that spotty form, Menezes and the Brazilian team should look back to how the dominant 1970 side managed to secure the title in Mexico, according to Pelé. Brazil coach Mário Zagallo leaned on the best players from the top domestic sides to construct one of most formidable teams in history.
While current boss Mano Menezes must assemble his unit from a wider pool of candidates, he should follow a similar template in order to form a solid unit, the former Santos icon said.
“They made a team first,” Pelé said. “That was the most important thing in 1970. Today, Brazil has had a team [under Menezes] for almost one year and a half, two years, and he doesn't have a team. This, I think, will be something they should change going into the World Cup. I think we need to get the right team.”
Fortunately for Brazil and Menezes, there is still time to forge the necessary understanding before the World Cup arrives in two years. Pelé said he has no doubt that Brazil possesses enough talent to create a cohesive starting XI and lift the World Cup in front of its expectant fans.
“Brazil has excellent players, no doubt,” Pelé said. “Excellent players. The best players all over the world, you'll find Brazilians. But, as a team, we are not organized yet.”
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- Mano Menezes