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Pele ready to cut back after hip op
Brazilian legend Pele is preparing to start limiting his professional schedule of engagements as the 72-year-old gets over hip replacement surgery, O Estado de Sao Paulo daily reported on Thursday.
Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has spent as much as six months a year on commercial activities but is ready to cut that back extensively from 2016 - the year Rio will stage South America's first Olympics.
He recently allowed the Legends 10 LLC agency to represent him exclusively for endorsement and product licensing and also personal appearances.
"With Legends, we shall progressively rein in Pele's travelling programme. Before, he would spend on average 180 days abroad a year. In the first year of this new agreement I have managed to bring that down to 83 days," Jose Fornos Rodrigues, a veteran of 45 years representing Pele, told the paper.
"Our aim is to cut back on his agenda to 10 or 15 days a season by the 2016 Olympics," Rodrigues explained.
Pele will before then play an active role as Brazil's honorary ambassador of football for the 2014 World Cup, which the five-times champions will be hosting for the first time since 1950.
The former Santos and New York Cosmos star netted twice in Brazil's first final win over hosts Sweden in 1958 as a teenager then scored again in the 1970 final thrashing of Italy in Mexico.
On Wednesday, Pele, whose views still carry weight among fans, criticised the showings of youngster Neymar and expressed fears his country will not do well at next year's World Cup on home soil.
He said that the current team "has no structure, no harmony."
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