After a busy summer in the transfer window, Liverpool started their Premier League challenge with a thumping 4-0 win over West Ham United.
The Reds looked excellent throughout, and the general vibe is that if anyone can topple Manchester City this season, it’s Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield stars. They’re 7/2 second favourites to win this season’s title.
But the superstitious among you will have to take caution, after Brazilian legend Pele said this:
It’s the start of the @PremierLeague today. Who do you think will win? I think it’s the year of Liverpool, Alisson and Firmino! // É o início da Premier League hoje. Quem você pensa que vai vencer? Eu acho que este é o ano do @LFC, com @Alissonbecker e Firmino! https://t.co/59koCXIIqP
— Pelé (@Pele) August 10, 2018
The Samba hero may have been a goalscoring great in his day, but has become infamous today for his lack of predicting accuracy.
Here are five of his best (or should that be worst?) pieces of sporting foresight…
Ahead of the 1998 World Cup in France, Pele was backing Spain to go all the way for the first time.
In reality, the Spaniards crashed out in the first round in a group which contained Paraguay and Nigeria.
Four years later and Pele reckoned his home nation were in trouble, and destined for a first round exit.
There was some logic to this one. Brazil were in crisis before they headed for South Korea & Japan, but Pele was made to look foolish as they went all the way, with Ronaldo downing Germany 2-0 in the final.
While he fancied Brazil to go home early, Pele was backing China to go far. Well, to get out of the group stages.
But the Chinese endured a miserable World Cup debut. They lost all three games and didn’t score a goal.
African nations will reign
This one is often churned out. Pele claimed an African Nation would win the World Cup before the millennium.
He isn’t the only one to have made such a claim, but we’re 18 years down the line and still awaiting an African semi-finalist, let alone a World Cup winner.
Nick Barmby will be a superstar
Now nobody is doubting that Nick Barmby had a fine career. The winger played for Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Middlesbrough and made 23 appearances for England.
Here’s Pele’s take when Barmby was making a name for himself in the mid-90s…
“Nick Barmby is up there with Zinedine Zidane, Paolo Maldini and Ronaldo.”
You’ve been warned, Liverpool fans.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing