Brazil coach Tite adored for turning around national team
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) Revered by his players and credited with turning Brazil’s national team around, Tite knows he’s not perfect.
Brazil, which will play its first World Cup match since its humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 semifinals against Switzerland on Sunday, has lost only once in 21 matches since Tite took over as coach in June 2016.
”There is a lot of pressure when we play because the world of football is looking at us,” Tite said Saturday. ”But I am happy with the way we’ve been performing. We’ve been building up for a long time and it’s gone well. That gives us some feeling of peace.”
But talk of a sixth World Cup title may be a little premature for the 57-year-old coach, whose team has outscored its opponents 47-5 over the last two years.
”I don’t think about that. And not everyone (in Brazil) likes me,” Tite said, chuckling. ”There are people who don’t like my decisions or me personally. And there are some people I don’t like, too.”
His players, however, are firmly on his side.
Tite has gained a reputation of building a team uncharacteristically compact for a South American side while bringing back goal-scoring flare with young players like Gabriel Jesus, a Manchester City striker who scored the most goals in qualifying.
”I have said it on many occasions – our teacher has changed the face of the national team,” Brazil captain Marcelo said. ”He breaks everything down for us and that makes out job easier.”
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