The tournament favorites produced carnival football as they crushed the Koreans 4-1 on Monday and celebrated their goals with choreographed moves, while even Tite himself joined in at one point.
The celebrations divided opinion outside of Brazil and the dancing of Neymar and his teammates has been one of the main talking points ahead of Friday’s quarter-final clash with Croatia in Doha. “This is not my national team.
It is the Brazilian team for which I have a responsibility as a coach,” Tite said when asked about the celebrations at a press conference on Thursday.
“I feel sorry for the people who do not know the history and culture of Brazil and our way of being.
The 61-year-old, who is in his second World Cup as Brazil’s coach and is set to step down at the end of the tournament, hinted that he was not comfortable participating in the dance but admitted that he wanted to have a connection with his players “I’m 61 years old and these players could almost be my grandchildren, but I have a connection to them,” he said.
“If I have to dance, I will dance, although I will do it subtly and I asked them to hide me.
It’s not my way.
The pressure on Brazil’s new generation of stars is enormous as they seek to win the World Cup for a record sixth time, two decades after the Selecao last lifted the trophy in Japan in 2002.
– ‘Brazilian identity ‘ – The question now is whether they can continue to play with the joy they showed against South Korea as the tournament in Qatar comes to a close, but Tite said it was all about the personality of their players.
“It is the identity of Brazilian soccer and of the generation that has emerged,” said the veteran coach, who a decade ago won the Club World Cup in charge of Corinthians.
“We give them the confidence so that they can go out and produce their best.
“These are the characteristics of our players, but beyond that pressure, you need courage to play this way.
While Neymar and full-back Danilo returned from ankle injuries to play against South Korea, Brazil have been sweating over Alex Sandro’s fitness for the match with Croatia.
The Juventus left-back has missed the last two games in Qatar with a muscle injury.
“It seems unlikely that he will play because he hasn’t worked enough in training camp yet,” Tite admitted, adding that a decision would be made after Thursday’s session.
If Alex Sandro is unable to play, Danilo will continue at left-back, with Real Madrid’s Eder Militao, usually a centre-back, again taking the place on the right.