Football: Brazilian legend Pele not taking part in World Cup draw, will be in audience

Former Brazilian football player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, speaks during a press conference regarding the launching of his book 1283 (number which represents the goals he scored in his career), at the Museum of Image and Sound, in S
Former Brazilian football player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, speaks during a press conference regarding the launching of his book 1283 (number which represents the goals he scored in his career), at the Museum of Image and Sound, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oct 16, 2013. Pele will not be taking part in Friday's World Cup draw although he will be in the audience, he said on Dec 4, 2013, adding that he was worried about landing Brazil in a difficult group. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Pele will not be taking part in Friday's World Cup draw although he will be in the audience, he said on Wednesday, adding that he was worried about landing Brazil in a difficult group.

"President Dilma (Rousseff) suggested that I represent Brazil when it came to pulling the balls out of the pots, which I've done several times before," Brazilian media quoted the former great Brazil striker as saying at an event in Sao Paulo.

"I preferred to turn down the offer because I would not feel comfortable in picking out balls which are not favourable to Brazil."

Pele has earned a reputation in Brazil as a "pe-frio", literally "cold foot", although he gave a sarcastic response to a reporter who asked him about it.

"I won five world titles, two with Santos and three with the national team and I scored more than one thousand goals, so you're right, I am a cold foot," he said.

"I will be there, God willing," Pele added. "I will give interviews, accompany the delegations from abroad and do what is necessary, representing President Dilma".

Draw organisers said on Monday that Pele would make an appearance in some shape or form, adding that he would provide the "wow factor".