France - Brazil

Pele predicts Brazil World Cup success as trophy visits Paris

Pele in Paris on Monday
Pele in Paris on Monday Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

After two days on display at Paris's town hall the World Cup trophy has left France, accompanied by world-famous Brazilian footballer Pele, to continue its 90-day tour of participating countries before returning to Brazil.

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The golden six-kilo trophy set out from Sao Paulo in September.

After its world tour the coveted prize will return to Brazil to be awarded to the winner of the 13 July World Cup final.

On Sunday the 73-year-old football legend spoke to reporters of his admiration for France’s Zinedine Zidane and said Brazil was still preparing for the event.

Despite demonstrations during last year's Confederations Cup and stikes and protests this year, he predicted the tournament will be a great success.

"This is a great opportunity. It will be fantastic for Brazil," he told the AFP news agency. "I think after we had the experience of the Confederations Cup the government has been better organised for the World Cup. So I hope we will have an excellent World Cup. We deserve it.

The World Cup is one of few chances to "showcase the country", Pele said.

"I think this will be a great opportunity to show the country, to make money, to get tourism. And it's important that the demonstrations do not damage everything, so we are going to work hard."

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