Rio de Janeiro: Brazil's poor Copa America showing was just a necessary evil as they work out a recipe for a sixth World Cup success on home soil in 2014, Pele said on Friday.
"The Copa America was a disaster for us - but it was not the fault of the coach," said Brazil's world champion, absolving an under-fire Mano Menezes of blame after the Copa ended with a quarter-final loss to Paraguay on penalties.
"Maybe we lacked a little preparation," suggested Pele, noting that Brazil should have beaten the Paraguayans ahead of their spotkick nightmare which saw the auriverde miss all of their kicks.
With three years to go to the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950, Pele said that Menezes "has time to prepare things."
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has invited Pele, who had a spell as sports minister under former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, to be an honorary ambassador for the World Cup, saying the country can learn from his experience.
"I am proud of this invitation to promote Brazil," he told reporters.
First Published: Saturday, July 30, 2011, 09:10