Brazilian legend Pele congratulated South American rivals Argentina on their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualification on Thursday, insisting that the finals need to have Diego Maradona's team involved.

"I wasn't against Argentina. They are my friends," said triple World Cup winner Pele. "I said before the match (Argentina beat Uruguay 1-0 on Wednesday to secure their place at South Africa 2010) that a World Cup without Argentina would not be the same.

"It's good for Maradona that Argentina qualified," Pele told TV Globo. "For those who love football, Argentina could not be out of the World Cup."

Wednesday's narrow 1-0 win in Montevideo saw Argentina finish fourth ahead of Uruguay who will play-off against Costa Rica for a berth at South Africa 2010.