Moscow: Coach Tite insisted Brazil can cope with being installed as World Cup favourites, after Germany’s shock exit, with the Selecao boss backing his side to grow in the knockout stages.
“We can take the pressure, we are a balanced team and we have replacements who can come in, which is important,” said Tite. “For example, Marcelo was injured early on and we were able to replace him.
“For us, this is about getting stronger and growing. “We embrace expectations, but this team have created a high level because they did very well in the qualifications, but then you come to the World Cup – it’s a new cycle and a new format. We have had three matches and things are on the up,” added the coach.
It drains me out when I have to leave a quality player on the bench. It is an embarrassment of riches for me
Tite – Brazil head coach
Tite said he suffers with an embarrassment of riches and that one of the hardest parts of his job is deciding who to leave out, having brought on Manchester City star Fernandinho in the second half leaving Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino on the bench.
“It’s one of the things which drains me the most as a coach is to leave top quality players out,” Tite informed. “You have to challenge the athletes to grow, it’s a short tournament and you have to have the right athletes for the right games.”
When asked about Marcelo’s injury, Tite said it was because of back spasm. “”We don’t have an update on Marcelo’s injury, I just know he has a problem with his back, he said his back was locked,” revealed Tite. “It was a spasm in the stabilising muscle and you can’t play with that.”