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Pele attacks "slave" remarks
The Brazilian great is at odds with the Fifa boss on player's contracts.
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2008 13:12 GMT

Pele, right, believes Cristano Ronaldo should honour his contract [GALLO/GETTY]
Footballing great Pele has denounced Fifa president Sepp Blatter's belief that some top players are treated like slaves by their clubs.

Blatter was giving his assessment of Cristiano Ronaldo's standoff with Manchester United over a move to Real Madrid when he said that players seeking a transfer should be allowed to leave.

The top-earning Portugal winger concurred with Blatter's "modern slavery'' comments, which upset football's first black superstar.

"You are a slave if you work without a contract or you don't get paid,'' said Pele, a three-time World Cup winner with Brazil, which abolished slavery 120 years ago.

"If you have a contract then in any job you have to finish the contract.

"I think that when he finishes his contract, then he should be free to go wherever he wants to go.''

Ronaldo has almost four years left on his Old Trafford contract and, while no transfer request has been submitted, the 23-year-old English footballer of the year has spent the summer angling for a transfer to Madrid.

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has joined Pele in the condemnation of Blatter's remarks by agreeing that the Fifa boss went too far in comparing long-term contracts between footballer and their clubs as a form of "modern slavery."

"Slavery is a big word," the Real Madrid defender told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Someone who signs a contract must respect it."

Blatter has refused to offer an apology for his remarks and Fifa have said they will not comments on the interview.

Source:
Agencies
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