- Title: FRANCE: FOOTBALL/SOCCER: Pele welcomes World Cup to Paris
- Date: 10th March 2014
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (MARCH 10, 2014) (REUTERS) TOWN HALL WORLD CUP POSTER OUTSIDE VARIOUS OF WORLD CUP ON DISPLAY VARIOUS OF FOOTBALL FANS QUEUING OUTSIDE (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEXICAN STUDENT AND FOOTBALL FAN DIEGO SAYING: "What a better day or chance to say, 'You know what? I'm here in France, I'm in Paris and the World Cup is right here'. So I took advantage of that and I'm happy right now, I get to see the World Cup, of course."
- Embargoed: 25th March 2014 12:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAAG4ZGUOARX7V2URIAXBFN7CTM
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- Story Text: The soccer World Cup on a world tour is welcomed to Paris by three-times winner Pele.
Soccer legend Pele was in Paris on Monday (March 10) as the World Cup trophy made a stop in the sun-kissed French capital during its world tour.
Queues of football fans snaked around a bright red tent in front of the town hall housing the iconic cup with organisers saying 400 people an hour were expected to pass through the doors.
Student Diego is originally from Mexico and, although he said he did not fancy his home nation's chances in the tournament, he rushed to have his picture taken in front of the trophy as soon as he heard about the exhibition.
"I'm happy right now, I get to see the World Cup, of course," he said.
Brazilian Pele got to lift the iconic Jules Rimet trophy three times as part of the winning team in the 1958, 1962 and 1970 before being allowed to take the gong home with him according to FIFA regulations awarding the cup in perpetuity to three-times winners.
Its now-familiar replacement still inspires fans, though, and Pele said he was hoping to see it lifted above the stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
The Confederations Cup held in the country last year provided the backdrop for social unrest and a series of mass demonstrations which have provoked comment ahead of the biggest event in the soccer calendar.
But Pele said Brazil should see the tournament as an opportunity to sell Brazil to the world.
"Football is the best promotion of the Brazilian country," he said.
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