Brazil have struggled in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and presently occupy sixth place in the South American table
Edinho, the son of Pele, expressed to AFP in an interview that Pele "would have been saddened" by the current state of the Brazilian national team, just days before the first anniversary of Pele's death on Friday. Brazil is facing challenges in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, currently holding the sixth position in the South American table, which is the last spot for direct qualification. The Selecao has encountered difficulties, especially in the absence of their prominent current star, Neymar, who has been sidelined with a long-term injury due to torn knee ligaments.
"This crisis didn't emerge suddenly; there are significant and intricate issues," remarked Edinho, 53, one of Pele's seven children.
"We are witnessing a decline... while we still have excellent players, in the past, we had a greater number of high-caliber players than we do today."
Edinho, who was raised by his mother after Pele and she separated shortly after moving to New York when he signed for New York Cosmos in 1975 but grew closer to him in later life, added, "There is no doubt that if (Pele) had been here this year, he would have been very saddened."
Santos, the Brazilian club where Pele spent the majority of his career, is currently facing a challenging period as they were relegated to the second division for the first time in their 111-year history.
The club is grappling with financial problems and internal disputes within the board.
"Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise. Anyone who has followed the daily affairs of the club could have anticipated such a scenario, and it has indeed happened," remarked Edinho, who served as Santos' goalkeeper for several seasons.
The commemorations to observe the first anniversary of Pele's passing from cancer at the age of 82, expected to be low-key, are scheduled for Friday.
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