Brazil heads into Monday‘s World Cup round of 16 tie against South Korea concerned about the health of the great Pelé and with coach Tite wondering whether to call up current Selecao number 10 Neymar after injury on the ankle after an ankle injury.
Tite used his press conference ahead of Friday’s final group game against Cameroon to wish Pelé a speedy recovery after the all-time great was admitted to hospital in Sao Paulo earlier in the week.
The three-time World Cup winner, now 82, underwent a “re-evaluation” of the chemotherapy he received after surgery to remove a colon tumor in September last year.
Brazil fans also unfurled a banner with a message of recovery for Pelé before the match against Cameroon, which the Selecao lost 1-0 for their first group stage defeat since 1998.
There would be no better way for Brazil.
to pay tribute to the greatest player in their history by winning a sixth World Cup on December 18, and the draw appears to have opened favorably for them.
He topped his section despite scoring just three goals in three games in Qatar, his worst performance in front of goal in a World Cup group stage since 1978.
Brazil have a fearsome array of attacking options, even with Gabriel Jesus who went home injured.
, but they have scored just once since Neymar came off with a sprained ankle in their first 2-0 win over Serbia on November 24.
He watched the Cameroon game from behind the Brazilian bench at the Lusail Stadium and returned to training on Saturday.
with his teammates, raising hopes that he would be on the field against the Koreans.
“I feel good, I knew I would now,” he wrote on Instagram on Saturday with a reference to James Brown.
“With his return, the whole team will improve,” Richarlison, scorer of the two goals against Serbia, said on Friday.
“I hope you come back.
Everyone saw how much we’ve missed him in the last two games.
I think his return will make me better.