Love of money endangering game: Pele

Tue Mar 8, 2011 9:25am EST
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Pele, Brazil's greatest footballer, said he believed high salaries and greedy players were a danger to the modern game.

Former New York Cosmos player Pele told a news conference held in Hong Kong to promote the reformed U.S. soccer club that players' loyalties now are where the money is.

"They go to Real Madrid or to Santos or to Manchester," he said. "They are presented with the shirt (and say) 'I love Manchester'.

"Tomorrow they go to Madrid, they say 'I love Madrid'. They love who pays a little more. That is a danger for football."

Pele, 70, was named the joint best player of the 20th century alongside Argentine Diego Maradona by world soccer's governing body FIFA in 2000.

(Writing by John Mehaffey in London, editing by Tony Jimenez)