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Ayew predicts African success

Abedi 'Pele' Ayew
Abedi believes Africa's time has come

Ghanaian legend Abedi 'Pele' Ayew believes an African team can win the World Cup in South Africa.

The former Black Star believes the first African World Cup offers a glorious chance to break the duck.

"This is our best chance of lifting the trophy because if you study the history of the World Cup Brazil are the only team to win it outside their continent.

"We definitely will have one African team that goes far... I mean as far as raising the trophy.

"When I make this prediction people laugh, but I believe it," Pele, a three-time African Footballer of the Year insisted.

Cameroon reached the 1990 quarter-finals in Italy - a feat repeated by Senegal 12 years later in South Korea.

When I told football officials that African champions Egypt would defeat world champions Italy during the FIFA Confederations Cup this year they all laughed.

Abedi 'Pele' Ayew

But no team from Africa has made it to the semi-finals.

Pele is convinced Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria or automatic qualifiers South Africa can go all the way and end a Europe-South America dominance stretching back to the first World Cup 79 years ago.

"When I told football officials that African champions Egypt would defeat world champions Italy during the FIFA Confederations Cup this year they all laughed.

"It happened and they had to admit I was right," he recalled, referring to the 1-0 loss the 'Azzurri' suffered against the Pharaohs in Johannesburg last June during the World Cup dress rehearsal.

"Look at Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria ... these teams are growing so fast," boasts Pele, whose son Andre helped Ghana win the world youth title in Egypt this year.

Pele also offered encouragement for struggling South Africa, whose recent goalless home draws with Japan and Jamaica ended a run of eight defeats in nine matches that triggered the sacking of Brazilian coach Joel Santana.

"They learnt about their weaknesses during the Confederations Cup and will get better," Pele said of the host nation, who rehired 1994 Brazil World Cup-winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira for a second spell at the helm.



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see also
Can Ghana create history?
09 Oct 09 |  Football
Abedi backs Hayatou presidency
02 Dec 08 |  African
Pele sings Blatter's praises
07 Apr 02 |  Africa
The views of Nations Cup legends
02 Feb 08 |  African


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