Pele says Neymar can handle World Cup pressure

Pele says Neymar can handle World Cup pressure


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PARIS (AP) — Pele is counting on Neymar to lead Brazil to World Cup victory and erase the painful memory of the last time the soccer-mad country hosted the tournament.

Considered by many to be world's best player, Pele was only 9 years old when Brazil lost to Uruguay in the final match of the 1950 World Cup. Pele then led Brazil to the title eight years later, when he was 17, and again in 1962 and 1970.

With Brazil hosting the tournament this year, the pressure is on the 22-year-old Neymar, who scored a hat trick last week in a friendly against South Africa.

Pele says "I think the pressure you speak of exists," but that "he will go to Brazil having gained in experience" with Barcelona.

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Jerome Pugmire

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