sport

Pele: Brazil must avoid Spain

Brazil legend Pele believes Germany and Spain will provide the biggest obstacle to the host nation winning a sixth World Cup this summer.

The 73-year-old is confident his own country can add a title to the trophies won in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002 in a tournament for which they have home advantage.

Pele played in three of those World Cup-winning sides and feels the 2014 squad can go all the way in this summer's competition.

He feels current holders Spain, and particularly Germany, who themselves have won the World Cup three times, will be the other contenders.

"This moment is important for us because Brazil are going to play at home," he told Sky Sports. "So it could be a beautiful moment for us.

"I think Germany is one of the best teams at the moment, and so is Spain, that's what I think.

"Brazil has a good defence and a good team and it would be fantastic if they got to the final with Germany."

Brazil open the tournament on Thursday June 12 when they play Croatia, before taking on Mexico and Cameroon in their other group games.

The second round pairs the winners of group A against the runners-up of group B, which contains Holland and Spain, meaning two of the favourites could go head to head in the first knockout stage.

While Pele feels the Spanish playing style would suit Brazil, he believes avoiding them early in the competition is crucial.

"The only good thing about Spain from our perspective is that they play a clean game," he said.

"They like to play and allow the other side to play and that's important for a team like Brazil. Spain are a side who play modern football.

"The Spanish have the same way of finding space and playing the ball."