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Pelé lauds American soccer and Klinsmann, speaks on racism

Apr 29, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele AP

There’s no doubt Pelé’s on a promotional tour here in America, one in which he’s paid to sell watches and move copies of his new book.

But when one of the most famous footballers to ever toe a ball speaks on your country and your manager, you pay attention.

Speaking in Miami, Pelé was asked about a number of topics.

Of most interest to our readers: US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the state of the game, MLS and other, in the States today.

From The Miami Herald:

“Klinsmann is a great trainer and has a lot of experience,” Pelé said. “We have to respect American soccer today. The U.S. group if very difficult with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, but soccer is a box of surprises, so nobody knows what will happen. I think American fans should be hopeful, and I have no doubt they are good enough to advance.”

“Today, the U.S. is the same level as Europe, they almost made semifinals in the 2002 World Cup, and the base is more organized than in Brazil and maybe all of South America. I am happy because I feel I was part of it.”

In light of the stories with Dani Alves, as well as the racial scandal with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Pelé was also asked how often he’s had to deal with racism over the years.

“I never had any problems,” Pelé said. “On the contrary, I have open doors all over the world, and I am received marvelously wherever I go. There are always crazy people who say things, but those things have never bothered me. I never paid attention.”

So it’s another personality telling fans of the Yanks to feel better  about the Group of Death. Not a bad thing at all.
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