Japan a threat to Brazil: Pele

Rio de Janeiro, June 13 (IANS) Pele has warned Brazil not to underestimate Japan in the opening match of the Confederations Cup in Brasilia slated for Saturday.

Despite backing Brazil as one of the tournament favourites, Pele believes the clash at Mane Garrincha stadium could be among the host nation’s most difficult, reports Xinhua.

And he warned Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team that their emphatic 3-0 victory over France last Sunday would mean little during the event considered a World Cup dress rehearsal.

“People say it will be easy for us because they (Japan) are not a traditional football country but the fact we played well against France doesn’t guarantee anything,” Pele said Wednesday.

“There is nobody that doesn’t know our team and the way we play. All the sides know each other well and for that reason every match will be difficult. I hope we can be champions but let’s not underestimate Japan in the first match. It’s going to be tough.”

Japan’s squad arrived in in Brasilia Wednesday and will have their first training session Thursday.

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