Rio de Janeiro: For Brazil, there was really no other choice as honorary ambassador for the 2014 World Cup than Pele, the country's greatest ever player.
A day before Saturday's qualifying draw, the government introduced Pele in the role.
"We want to learn from a man who has been through 12 World Cups," Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva said. "Pele represents how the world sees Brazil. We want him to be the face of the World Cup."
Silva said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff picked Pele to represent the country because of his dedication to promoting Brazil and its football across the world.
"I've been representing Brazil since I was 17 years old in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden," Pele said. "I'm proud to have received this invitation and I'm honored to have the obligation to laud Brazil's name."
Pele played in four World Cups as a player — winning three of them — and also participated in other eight with different roles. He was a member of the Japanese organizing committee for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea and also was active in the 1994 World Cup preparation and promotion in the United States.
"I accepted this because I want the entire nation to come together so we can have a great World Cup here in Brazil too," he said.