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Pele: Brazil must ease pressure on Neymar

23 May 2014 05:09

Brazil's hopes of lifting the FIFA World Cup on home soil should not rest on Neymar's shoulders, according to national legend Pele.

Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, said an abundance of high-profile players around him made his World Cup debut at age 17 comparatively easier than what the Barca forward will experience, aged 22.

The 92-time Brazil international said the hosts should not rely on Neymar, as it would burden the talented forward.

"When I went to Sweden I wasn't the main player in that team," Pele said, of his World Cup debut in 1958 - the first of his three triumphs.

"It was my first trip and Brazil had great players like Gilmar, Nilton Santos, Zagallo and Didi.

"So I had a supporting role in that team.

"With Neymar it's completely different.

"He has a huge responsibility.

"It's his first World Cup, he is one of the youngest in this team and still he has a major responsibility."

Pele hailed Brazil's defensive capabilities, but conceded their forward structure was thin on the ground, Neymar and Hulk aside.

Brazil were drawn alongside Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico in Group A, with their first fixture against the European outfit on June 12.

"In attack, we still have some questions. It's not only Neymar," the 73-year-old said.

"We need good attackers, wingers... people talk about Hulk, but he has power and strength.

"We need more talented players to play with him. So that's the big difference for me.

"I think I didn't have that responsibility that Neymar has today. It's too much for him."

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