Bebeto in WC organising committee

Bebeto in WC organising committee

Bebeto, the fleet-footed former striker who helped Brazil win the 1994 World Cup, was appointed on Thursday to the local committee in charge of organising the 2014 tournament in the South American country.

The appointment makes Bebeto the second big name in Brazilian soccer to join the Local Organising Committee, alongside former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, who led Brazil to their fifth World Cup title in 2002.

"It was a pleasure, on my birthday, to get this invitation," Bebeto told reporters on his 48th birthday in Rio de Janeiro. "It was like getting my first call up for the World Cup, for the Brazil team.

"I never had the joy of playing in a World Cup in my own country but now I will, as a fan, as a representative ... so we have to do everything possible in order to have a great World Cup, one of the greatest World Cups in history."

Bebeto, now a state legislator in Rio, joins the organising committee as Brazil is struggling to get ready to host the world's premier soccer tournament.

Work on stadiums got off to a slow start, many projects are over budget, and airport infrastructure remains woefully insufficient to accommodate the 600,000 visitors expected for the soccer extravaganza.