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European Qualifiers Group E

Pele backing England boss

Brazil great Pele has backed Roy Hodgson to revive England's fortunes after their World Cup flop.

Last Updated: 03/07/14 at 11:52 Post Comment

Pele: Backing Roy Hodgson - and Brazil

Pele: Backing Roy Hodgson - and Brazil

England failed to reach the second round after taking just one point from three games but the three-time World Cup winner has tipped them to learn from their sobering experience.

"I did not expect England to be eliminated early in the tournament; but as I always say, football is a box of surprises," Pele said. "From that same group, Costa Rica are proving to be a great surprise in this tournament.

"Roy Hodgson is not the main reason for England's disappointing tournament. You need all the players and the entire organisation to be at their best and to perform well.

"An early elimination is always a good reason to review what went wrong and come back stronger. England can learn from their mistakes and bounce back at Euro 2016."

The 73-year-old, Brazil's all-time leading goalscorer with 77 strikes in 92 appearances, is revelling in a tournament on home soil and admitted he is desperate for boss Luiz Felipe Scolari to lead the hosts to glory.

"I've loved the competition so far," he said.

"The atmosphere here is fantastic. International fans are happy to be at the stadiums all over Brazil and the tournament has offered great football so far.

"My wish is that Brazil wins. It would be very sad for us if we don't win the competition."

Singling out four-goal Neymar for special praise, Pele added: "I have been very happy for Neymar so far in this tournament.

"He helped the team win by scoring big goals and during the penalty kicks against Chile, he showed a lot of confidence and experience in his first World Cup."

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