Friday, 11 June 2010

Pele’s Pathetic Unprophetic Predictions

Today, 11 June 2010, the World Cup kicks off and Edison Arantes do Nascimento, the world’s most famous footballer, strikes again! As well as being a famous ambassador for the game, Pele is notoriously infamous for being a failure at forecasting football developments (see here).


[Pele in 1970. Courtesy Google Images.]


This time, Pele is predicting that Brazil will meet an African side … any African side … in the final of the 2010 World Cup. In fact, it seems likely that Pele hasn’t calculated very wisely. Here’s why:

There are 6 African sides amongst the 32 participating national teams, but 4 African sides are in the first four groups (South Africa in group A; Nigeria in B; Algeria in C; Ghana in D) and 2 African sides in the second four groups (Cameroon in group E; Ivory Coast in G, which is the same group as Brazil)

This means it is likely that Brazil will either face Cameroon at the quarterfinal stage, any of the 4 African teams in groups A to D at the semifinal stage, and either Cameroon (if they miss each other in the quarterfinals) or Ivory Coast in the final.

Suddenly, Pele’s prediction has been cut from 6 African sides to just 2 African sides that can conceivably make it to the World Cup final with Brazil. Nice going Pele!!


Here’s an excellent 2009 article from Goal.com about the Top 10 Wrong Pele Predictions (also here)

10) China 2002

Pele Prediction: China will qualify for the next round from their 2002 World Cup group.

Outcome: China finish bottom of Group C with no wins, no draws, no points, no goals, as well as -9 in their goal-difference column.

9) Spain 1998

Pele Prediction: Spain are favourites for the 1998 World Cup in France.

Outcome: Spain humiliatingly dumped out in the first round after losing to Nigeria, and drawing with Paraguay.

Raul & Spain - Kings Of France '98?

8) Colombia To Live American Dream

Pele Prediction: Colombia will win the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

Outcome: Colombia exit the competition in the first round, finishing bottom of their group. Their defender Andres Escobar is also tragically shot dead by an angry fan after Colombia return home.

7) Argentina, France & World Cup 2002

Pele Prediction: Argentina & France will both reach the final.

Outcome: Both countries eliminated in the first round, France without even scoring a goal.

6) Escape To Victory

Pele Prediction: During the famous film starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine, Allies star Pele is brutally fouled in the first half by the Nazi opponents. The injured Brazilian claims there is no way he can continue and is carried off. The Allies are 4-0 down, and a recovery is deemed impossible.

Outcome: Pele returns in the second half and inspires his team to an improbable comeback, even scoring a stunning bicycle kick. Even in fiction, Pele's predictions go wrong.

5) Ronaldo Is Finished

Pele Prediction: Ronaldo will never play football again, and his career is over, following a serious injury for Milan in February 2008.

Outcome: Ronaldo returns in March 2009 for Corinthians, scoring 10 goals in his first 14 games to win the Campeonato Paulista. Rumoured to be on the verge of a national team recall.

Ronald-over

4) Nii Lamptey – ‘The New Pele’

Pele Prediction: After starring in the 1991 Under-17 World Cup, which also featured Alessandro Del Piero, Pele proclaims Ghana youngster Lamptey as his successor, ‘The New Pele’.

Outcome: What happens next goes down in football infamy. Lamptey spectacularly fails to fulfil his talent, believing himself that he was cursed by dark forces. The midfielder shifts around clubs such as PSV, Aston Villa, Coventry, Venezia and Ankaragucu, without success, and endures tragedy in his personal life, as two of his children die.

3) Nicky Barmby - Up There With Zidane, Maldini & Ronaldo

Pele Prediction: Nicky Barmby will become a world class star.

Outcome: Nicky Barmby becomes nothing more than an average player, winning 23 England caps, and never even appearing in a World Cup.

Nick Barmby - 'The English Roberto Baggio'

2) Africa Will Rule

Pele Prediction: An African nation will win the World Cup before the year 2000.

Outcome: It is now 2009, and an African country has still yet to get past the quarter-final.

1) Brazil & World Cup 2002

Pele Prediction: Brazil won’t even get past the group stages.

Outcome: Brazil win the World Cup.

Brazil & Cafu - they won't get through


There are plenty of results if one Googles “Pele’s predictions”.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
2002 Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said:
“I believe Pele knows nothing about football. His analysis always turns out to be wrong. If you want to win a title, you have to listen to Pele and then do the opposite.”


According to the "Scolari theory", none of the African teams and Brazil will go the distance. Pele has also talked up Wayne Rooney and England, so no go for England. This means the other favourites Spain and Argentina should be happy to know that Pele has not (yet) given them the "death wish". However HKSARblog likes the orange colour of this blog,* and therefore plumps for The Netherlands!

Enjoy the World Cup everyone!!

* This is just as irrational as many other predictions, but hey!

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