All Eyes on Neymar for Brazil Win
Brazil only needs one point from their final group game to secure their spot in the knockout stages, while a win is almost sure to put them in the last 16 as Group E winners, and all eyes are on Neymar to get Brazil their win.
Neymar only recently returned from a lengthy layoff due to a foot injury, and as it stands Neymar, the most expensive player is the centrepiece of a Brazil side desperate to win the Cup in Russia.
Neymar cried after scoring Brazil’s second goal in the 97th minute in Saint Petersburg, but Tite warned reporters to not read too much into the superstar’s tears.
“Neymar is only in the recovery stage,” warned Tite, who says the 26-year-old needs more time to rediscover his form after three months out.
“He is a gifted player, but outside his normal standards, or he wouldn’t be playing like this.
“He is in the middle of the evolution after his injury. It’s normal, natural.
“If you look at the statistics against Switzerland and compare with Costa Rica, the heat map on the flank and inside both increased.
“One more match and he will be on full form physically and technically.
“The trouble is, has an excessive responsibility on him. That is not right. I will not do that. We should not place all the responsibilities on his shoulders, even though he CAN handle it.”
Neymar’s tearful response to the Costa Rica win was labelled self-indulgent by many inside Brazil but Tite added: “I would like to say, to the whole nation, that I have done the same.
“When we beat Ecuador, Tite cried.
“I will say it again. I cried when I called my wife. I cried because I was happy, satisfied.
Brazil’s inability to keep their emotions in check contributed to their spectacular implosion at the 2014 World Cup, when they were slaughtered 7-1 in the semi-finals by eventual winners Germany. The fear is the same thing could happen again during the high-pressure knock-out stages in Russia.
The Brazil boss has also admitted he has concerns about Serbia’s physical advantages, name-checking past and present Premier League stars Aleksandar Mitrovic, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic as well as Southampton schemer Dusan Tadic.
Will Brazil be able to keep their emotions in check and secure their spot in the knockout stages?