COPENHAGEN - Triple World Cup winner Pele rues never getting the chance to win an Olympic medal but the 68-year-old thinks he might still fulfil his dream if Rio de Janeiro is selected to host the 2016 Games.
Professional football players were not allowed to take part in the Olympics when Pele was competing in the 1950s, 60s and early 1970s. Now teams can field professionals under the age of 23 at the Games, with three over-aged players allowed.
"Now you can have three over-aged professionals. Today I am here and maybe I play in Rio de Janeiro," Pele joked at a news conference organised by the Rio bid on Wednesday, two days before the International Olympic Committee picks the host city.
"Everybody knows my life. I won a lot of tournaments and scored more than 1,000 goals, won three World Cups but could not play in Olympic Games. Sometimes I still think I did not get that gold medal.
"My dream was always to win one Olympic tournament."
Rio is up against Tokyo, Chicago and Madrid with the IOC voting on the best bid during their session in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Pele, voted the IOC's Athlete of the Century, is one of Rio's high-profile supporters.
Like Pele, five-times world champions Brazil have also never won the Olympic football tournament.comments