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The 73-year-old says Neymar could play a crucial role in the tournament this summer and believes Germany, Spain and the hosts are the main contenders

Brazil legend Pele believes his country are in the unusual situation of being stronger in defence than attack ahead of the World Cup.

The five-time World Cup winners are renowned for producing world-class forwards such as Pele, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Bebeto, with Neymar the latest star name to carry the hopes of the nation.

Pele is confident his country can shine on home soil later this year, but admits he is concerned over the options coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has in attack and believes the Barcelona forward could be key in the hosts' campaign.

Speaking at a sponsorship launch in Dubai, Pele said: "To talk about the team - this is amazing, because for the first time in the history of football Brazil has a team who are better at defending than attacking.

"Brazil always goes to the World Cup with good forwards, but for the first time Brazil has a little problem when setting up the attack.

"That is the reason why Neymar is a very important piece, but it is the first time he is going to be at the World Cup and there will be a little pressure on one player.

"There's no doubt that Brazil has a good team, a very strong team, but for the first time we have a better defence than attack."

The 73-year-old added he feels Germany, Spain and the tournament's hosts are in the best shape to lift the trophy in the summer but insists Chile could spring a surprise.

"In my opinion, there are three months now before the World Cup and three teams that are the best teams - Germany, because I have seen German players playing very well, Spain, no doubt because they have played together for 10 years, [and] Brazil - those three teams are the best now.

"Chile are [also] very good this year and may be a surprise.

"It is difficult, but I hope Brazil get to the final."

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