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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pele: Colombia Good, Maybe Not Good Enough

NEW YORK -- Colombia is the best team in the World Cup, according to Brazilian soccer great Pele, but it doesn't mean they will win the title. "Colombia has a good team. They have (Faustino) Asprilla. Colombia has a very organized team," Pele said Thursday. "Win? I don't know. But they will be one" of four semifinalists. "For me Colombia is the best team. It doesn't mean they are going to win it. Italy, going into the 1982 finals, had the worst team." Speaking at an awards ceremony for his corporate and World Cup sponsor MasterCard International, the three-time world champion Pele praised the individual talents of his native Brazil, but was cautious about their chances. "Brazil individually has very good players, and the best of them are in Europe: Romario (Barcelona), Bebeto (Deportivo), Mauro Silva (Deportivo), Jorginho (Bayern Munich)," he said. "All are good as players, but as a team they are not so compact -- like Germany. Germany doesn't have so many names, but they work well together." U.S. chances, he said, rest on the team's opening game in the Pontiac Silverdome against the Swiss on June 18. Age and diminishing skills have reduced Diego Maradona's ability to make an impact for Argentina, he said. Pele instead suggested Italy's Roberto Baggio, Romario and Asprilla as the players who could make the biggest difference. "I think no doubt this will be the best World Cup," he said.