Brazil Don’t Need Neymar Magic To Win, Says Manager Tite

Brazil’s head coach Tite attends a team training session at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on June 1, 2022, a day before a friendly football match between South Korea and Brazil. (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)

 

Brazil no longer rely on superstar Neymar to win games, manager Tite said Sunday, with an Olympic gold medal-winning generation looking to step up at the World Cup.

Neymar underlined his importance to Tite’s side by netting the 72nd and 73rd goals of his Brazil career in a 5-1 friendly thrashing of South Korea in Seoul last week.

That took him within striking distance of the legendary Pele’s record of 77 goals for the five-time World Cup winners.

Tite played down Brazil’s dependence on Neymar as his team prepared to face Japan in a friendly in Tokyo on Monday, saying a new generation of players are ready to share the load.

“I have been in charge of the national team for a long time, and in that time I have made lots of mistakes and also made some good decisions,” he said.

“We have a new generation coming through and one good thing I have done is to try out a lot of players. Now we are not so dependent on one attacking player.”

Brazil won gold at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics last year, beating Spain 2-1 in the final after extra time.

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Olympians like Richarlison and Bruno Guimaraes have broken into Tite’s senior squad, and assistant coach Cesar Sampaio said it was a “happy problem” to have.

“The players with experience and the players who won the Olympic gold here in Japan are now coming together,” said the former midfielder.

“We have players with a lot of speed and creativity, especially in attack.”

Brazil will be looking to round off their two-game trip to Asia with a win against Japan at Tokyo’s Olympic stadium on Monday.

Japan, who will be playing at the venue for the first time since it was rebuilt to host the Games, warmed up with a convincing 4-1 win over Paraguay last week.

Manager Hajime Moriyasu said his players will have to be “brave and aggressive” to beat Brazil — something Japan have never achieved in a full international.

“We want to make our mark at the World Cup and the game against Paraguay was a start towards that,” said Moriyasu.

“We need to go further than we’ve gone before and try to overcome our limits. I want the players to do that tomorrow.”

Football ‘Not Above The Law’, Says Brazil Coach Tite

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 05, 2021 Brazil’s coach Tite (C) is seen after employees of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) entered to the field during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between Brazil and Argentina at the Neo Quimica Arena, also known as Corinthians Arena, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP)

 

Brazil coach Tite said “not everything is allowed” in football in reference to Sunday’s World Cup qualifier aborted minutes after kick-off over alleged Covid-19 quarantine breaches by Argentina.

“The justice system, laws, respect and social order exists; in football not everything is allowed, there are rules,” said Tite, without explicitly mentioning Argentina, during a press conference in Recife ahead of Brazil’s upcoming match with Peru.

In remarkable scenes on Sunday, Brazilian health officials stormed the pitch seven minutes into the clash between the South American giants at Sao Paulo’s Neo Quimica Arena, halting the match and triggering a melee involving team officials and players.

Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), which was the victim of a cyber attack Wednesday following its intervention in the match, said four England-based players in Argentina’s squad should be placed in “immediate quarantine” for violating Covid-19 protocols.

Argentina have denied the accusations. FIFA has said a decision on possible disciplinary action would be taken “in due course”.

“I don’t know exactly what was done nor at what point. I cannot and should not judge, but to go above the law… no. A bit of respect for an entity, for a country, for a population, for a club and a national team,” said Tite.

“I still want the game to be played, but if a mistake was made then the law applies,” he added.

South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL said the game had been “suspended” but gave no detail on whether the match would be played at another date.

AFP