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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Pele praise for Butt
Jairzinho scoring against Peru during the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico
Jairzinho backs Sven-Goran Eriksson's men this time
England v Brazil | Quarter-final
Fri Jun 21 2002 | 0730 BST | Shizuoka
Live on BBC1 & Radio Five Live

Pele believes midfielder Nicky Butt has been the player of the World Cup so far and has picked him out as a key man for England in their quarter-final against Brazil.

The Brazil legend said that Butt's performances had overshadowed not only those of his more well-known team-mates but also those of any other player.

"Butt is the player who has been consistent with his good marking, pressure and passing," he told the BBC.

"The best players for England are not forwards. We expect Beckham and Owen to perform but Rio Ferdinand and Butt are England's two best players."

Pele added that he was hoping for a Brazil win, despite having concerns over their organisation.

"Everybody knows Brazil have big problems in defence," he said.

"But we have two or three players who can make the difference, like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo."

However, Jairzinho, one of Pele's team-mates in the Brazil team who last played England in 1970, says England can defeat the four-times champions if they keep their cool.

Open Quote
When I hit it, I knew - I just said 'goodbye, my job is done'
Close Quote
Jairzinho on his
winning 1970 goal

He scored the only goal when the sides last met in the World Cup in Mexico in 1970.

And while many see Brazil as favourites to win Friday's match, he thinks England have the game and the temperament to win.

"We may well see England win. It will be a dramatic match," he told the BBC.

"It will require a lot of emotional and psychological preparation.

"If England can keep their cool and their discipline they will win the game."

Jairzinho scored in every game in the finals 32 years ago in Mexico as Brazil lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy for a third time.

And he vividly remembers the group game with England in Guadalajara.

"It was like the final," he said.

"It was the meeting of two of the best sides in the competition.

"I remember Pele was marked by three men. I called out for him to give me the ball.

"(Terry) Cooper, who was marking Pele, charged towards me and Gordon Banks dived towards his left.

"I thought it (the shot) has to be right in the middle.

"When I hit it, I knew. I just said 'goodbye, my job is done'."


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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's James Pearce
"This could be the best match of the tournament"
Brazilian legend Pele
"We have two or three players who can make the difference"
1966 hero Alan Ball
"England can be confident"
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