World Cup - Pele: Neymar not a leader

Pele has had his say on Brazil's World Cup squad and warned against looking to Barcelona’s Neymar as a team leader.

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World Cup - Pele: Neymar not a leader
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Pele believes that Neymar is not a leader (PA)

Brazil Coach Felipe Scolari yesterday named his 23 for the tournament, on home soil, and Marca reports Pele saying he would like to have seen more experience in the group.

Pele specifically pointed to former Real Madrid pair Kaka and Robinho as players he would have called up, but admitted he didn’t know who he would drop from the squad to make way.

“I think Scolari has done well. He’s been consistent and there are no surprises,” the three-time World Cup winner said.

“But I thought more experienced players like Robinho and Kaka might have been called to join the group.

“In general everyone’s been well chosen.

“I don’t know who I’d remove to make way [for Kaka and Robinho]. I’d take 24.”

Pele conceded, however, that Robinho’s form at Milan may not have warranted inclusion in the World Cup squad.

“I expected more from Robinho. At Milan he’s not the same as he was at Santos or with the national team,” the 73-year-old continued.

“Really it was a negative surprise because there was an expectation he could do much better. Even so, with the current level of football worldwide, he’s a player for the team, any team.”

With that lack of experience in mind, Pele argued less should be expected of Neymar.

“We can’t think of Neymar as a leader. We’ll have to actually count Fred or Thiago Silva, who have personality,” he added.

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