Rio De Janeiro:Brazilian football legend Pele has slammed what he termed the corrupt and unprofessional nature of the game in his homeland.
"The big problem in our football is corruption, lack of professionalism," said Pele in an interview published on Friday in O Estado de Sao Paulo daily.
"It is incredible that clubs with an immense fan base, such as Flamengo or Corinthians, still don't have their own stadium, something which any smalltime team has in Europe," Pele charged, noting that top Brazilian stars so often make their way in the sport outside their homeland - and generally in Europe.
"This business of losing players for want of financial muscle is a worldwide problem. It happens in Argentina, in the whole of Latin America, in Africa," added Pele, 68, insisting that the result was Brazilian clubs were constantly losing out and playing catch-up after selling their top player assets.
Pele, former Brazilian sports minister, spoke out as he set up an account at the state Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES) to help finance a museum showcasing his stellar career with Santos, for whom he netted more than 1,000 goals.