Pele’s health is a concern for Brazil heading into their World Cup match against South Korea on Monday, and coach Tite is debating whether to recall current Selecao number 10 Neymar following an ankle injury. Pele was admitted to a hospital in Sao Paulo earlier this week, and Tite wished the legendary player a speedy recovery during his press conference before Friday’s final group match against Cameroon.
Before the match against Cameroon, which the Selecao lost 1-0, supporters of Brazil also unfurled a banner with a get well soon message for Pele. This was the Selecao’s first group-stage loss since 1998.
There is no better way for Brazil to honour their greatest player than to go on and win a record-extending sixth World Cup on December 18, and the draw seems to be working in their favour.
They only scored three goals in three games in Qatar, which was their worst goal-scoring performance in a World Cup group stage since 1978, but they still won their section. Brazil has a fearsome array of attacking options, even with Gabriel Jesus returning home with an injury, but they have only managed one goal since Neymar was forced to leave their opening 2-0 victory over Serbia on November 24 due to an ankle sprain.
At Lusail Stadium, he viewed the Brazil vs. Cameroon match from directly behind the Brazilian bench. On Saturday, he returned to training with his teammates, raising hopes that he would play against the Koreans.
Apart from Neymar, Brazil’s defence is also dealing with injury issues as they try to regain the attacking form that saw them score a remarkable 26 goals in the seven games prior to the tournament.