- Brazil are preparing for their second World Cup group game against Costa Rica on Friday
- The five-times world champions played out a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their opening game
- But Selecao talisman Neymar has returned in time for the tournament but is not yet fully fit
Brazil's coach Tite has denied ongoing talks that he wants Selecao superstar Neymar to be 'less selfish' during the all-important match against Costa Rica on Friday.
Speaking after the team’s training session on Thursday, Tite was pushed to the wall that he had to speak to journalists on ground over the allegation that he told Neymar to be 'less selfish' and play with mates during Brazil’s second group match.
“That did not happen,” he said. “The information you have is not true. The responsibility is there to play collectively but also as individuals.
“I am not going to take away Neymar's genius am I? I won’t remove his intuition.
“I won’t take away anything from anybody. We have to keep an eye on our opponents but our intuition stays."
The Brazilian coach was firm in his choice of words as he wanted to ensure the rumours surrounding the Selecao is dealt with in time
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The Brazil squad to the ongoing global football fiesta in Russia boast of top quality talents that include the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus.
The South American side can go all the way to claim the $20m trophy at the end of the tournament, even without their prized asset, Neymar, who is still struggling to regain match fitness.
However, the highly-experienced coach thinks otherwise as he does not want to risk his players.
“It is an evolutionary process,” noted Tite, even as he added.
“We have speeded up the process. But it is technically sound. There is no problem, no handicap.
“There is no sacrifice. We want to win. It's the World Cup. But a coach will not risk a player's health.
“Health and honesty will not be compromised.”
Interestingly, the Brazilians still recall the 2014 Fifa World Cup at their backyard where Germany claimed a famous 7-1 victory in the semi-finals and that incident has helped Tite’s decision in rotating the team’s captaincy role.
In Friday’s fixture against Coasta Rica, PSG star and Selecao veteran Thiago Silva, will have the honour again to wear the captain’s armband once more after surviving the last tournament.
“If we took away everybody who was criticised after the last World Cup then we would not have a team,” said Tite. “Nobody would be playing”.
Speaking further on how he intends to tackle Costa Rica, Tite stressed that he will field the same team when the Selecao step out on magnificent St Petersburg’s stadium.
Therefore, it means the likes of Neymar, Jesus and Chelsea's Willian will be in the starting 11 while Liverpool’s Firmino start from the subs bench.
“We have to play well and we have to win,” said Tite. “We can't run away from this. This is the decisive game.
“Today we have tranquility and that's great but we are human beings. There are expectations and we know what they are.
“The love of our fans brings us a very emotional component but we must also have a high level of concentration or we will be out of the tournament.”
Already, the Selecao squd members have been able to adjust to life at St Petersburg which usually get dark at midnight and dawn but suddenly break before.
“Yes it is hard because we are not used to it.
“The coach has talked to each of us specifically and at 1.30am we have to turn off our i-pads and cellphones otherwise we will not sleep.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Brazil got their World Cup campaign off to a disappointing start following a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in a Group E match.
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring with his trademark right-foot as he rifled in the ball into the left hand corner of Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer to put the Selecao ahead in the 20th minute. However, Stephen Zuber headed home a Xherdan Shaqiri's corner kick to level the scores at 1-1..
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