Rio de Janeiro, April 24 (IANS) Brazil football legend Pele has expressed his wish to light the cauldron at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 75-year-old is widely tipped to officially open the Games of the XXXI Olympiad at the Maracana stadium on August 5, reports Xinhua.
“I would be very, very happy if that happened,” the 75-year-old said in an NBC television interview on Saturday.
“It would be great if I could be there. Maybe I could bring Brazil good luck.”
The three-time World Cup winner famously wept in front of television cameras when Rio won the right to host the Games in 2009.
He attributed his outpouring of emotion to the fact he never competed at an Olympics due to previous rules which banned the participation of professionals.
“I have never played in an Olympics and Brazil has never won an Olympic football gold medal. One of the reasons I cried was because I was never part of an Olympics. I am also a very emotional person and I cry easily.”
Pele added that his most pressing concern was that Rio held a successful Games amid an ongoing political and economic crisis.
“Unfortunately the political situation in Brazil isn’t great. There is not long left before the Olympics begin. The most important thing is to make sure they are well run so that we can stage a great Olympic Games,” he added.