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The outspoken icon believes he is responsible for his country's failure to secure the accolade due to being restricted from the competition during his professional career.

Pele has declared that Brazil has never won the gold medal at the Olympics because he was never offered the chance to participate.

The 71-year-old was in a joking mood at a press conference ahead of the centenary date of his former club Santos.

"Our best players are in this age bracket, it is a medal that Brazil needs to have," Pele told reporters at the Vila Belmiro. "Do you know why we do not have a gold medal? When I started playing I was 16. When we started, professionals could not play in the Olympics.

"Brazil have never won an Olympics because I never played."

With no such restrictions in place now Santos duo Neymar and Ganso are almost certain to participate in London this year.

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