SAO PAULO, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Brazil will this year boast a stronger defense than attack for the first time in a World Cup, according to football legend Pele.
The 74-year-old cited Brazil's absence of an in-form center forward and relative dearth of playmakers as a concern less than three months before the tournament begins.
"We have always gone to World Cups with great attacks and weak defenses but this time it's going to be exactly the opposite," Pele was quoted saying by news service Uol on Sunday.
The three-time World Cup winner rated Germany, Spain, France and Argentina as Brazil's major rivals for football's most coveted prize. He also warned England could cause a surprise.
"England won't win the World Cup, but they have a team that must be respected," he added.