Posted June. 30, 2010 13:04,
Soccer icon Pele told Brazilian media that Brazil, Germany or Argentina will win this years World Cup after the match schedule for the tournaments second round was announced.
All three teams have advanced to the quarterfinals, but this prediction is common given that they are the usual favorites to win the World Cup and have shown good performances. In addition, Pele picked three teams instead of one to raise the chances of his prediction coming true.
Many soccer fans disagree with his picks, however, saying either the Netherlands or Uruguay will lift the World Cup thanks to "Peles curse." His favorites for a major championship are always eliminated in the middle of the competition, and young players he praised as promising have not risen to stardom.
His curse has shown its power in the last few World Cups. Before the 2002 tournament, he predicted Argentina and France would play in the final but both teams failed to get out of their groups. He also forecast that his country Brazil would find it hard to get to the knockout stage, but it won the title instead.
Pele in 1998 picked Spain to win the France World Cup, but it also failed to advance to the second round.
The worst curse occurred in the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. He picked Colombia to win it that year at a time when talk of his curse was not as widespread as today.
Colombia proudly entered the World Cup as Peles favorite but failed to make it to the second round. In addition, Colombian defender Andrés Escobar, who scored an own goal in a 2-1 loss to the U.S. which knocked out the South Americans, was shot to death by a narcotics dealer after he returned home as alleged punishment.
Pele once complained that people talked about his curse just because certain predictions were proven wrong. He has made several picks this year and is awaiting the results.
Before the opening of the South Africa World Cup, he called Brazil and Spain the strongest teams but that he hoped to see Brazil and an African team in the final. His three predictions still have a chance of coming to fruition.