Ochoa save could be a good omen for Brazil, says Pele

Last Updated 19 June 2014, 06:49 IST

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa's save to deny Brazil's Neymar in Tuesday's World Cup match was almost as good as the one Gordon Banks made for England against Pele in 1970 and could be a good omen for Brazil, the great Brazilian said.

"It was an excellent save. I hope what happens is the same as what happened to me, because Banks made the save but Brazil won the World Cup," Pele told Reuters in an interview in Rio de Janeiro.

The former Brazilian No.10, thought by many to be the greatest player of all time, said Ochoa's dramatic dive to his right to stop a powerful header from Neymar "was almost the same" as Banks' save against him at the Mexico World Cup.

The England 'keeper's save is widely considered to be the best in World Cup history.

Due to Ochoa's heroics Mexico held Brazil to a goalless draw, leading some to question Brazil's attacking strength and their chances of lifting the trophy on home soil.

For Pele Brazil's defence in this year's World Cup is stronger than their attack, an unusual situation for a country that has traditionally had an abundance of talent up front.

The manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has "difficulty setting up the attack," Pele said, adding it was not fair to put all the pressure on Neymar to win a World Cup.

"Neymar is one person, he's not a team."

Criticism has surrounded the lack of a conventional centre forward other than Fred, but Pele said this was not necessarily a problem.

"The best Brazil team ever was the one that won the 1970 World Cup and we didn't have a conventional centre forward... It's a matter of adapting," Pele said.

Pele said he was relieved that the ill-feeling towards the World Cup had lifted and that most Brazilians now seemed to be enjoying the football.

"We can't mix political corruption with football that has only brought joy and exultation to Brazil," he said.

(Published 19 June 2014, 06:49 IST)

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