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Tite Explains Call for ‘Terrifying’ Tardelli

Brazil coach Tite has explained his decision to call 32 year old attacker Diego Tardelli into his squad for October World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Chile. Tardelli featured regularly under Dunga, but this is his first call since Tite took over in August 2016.

Tardelli, who plays for Shandong Luneng in China, was a surprise selection, though Tite’s hand was partially forced by an injury to Grêmio’s Luan. Tite explained that Tardelli’s experience was an attractive proposition.

“Diego Tardelli has a very good history with the national team, and left a legacy of his time in Dunga’s squad. He is playing well. I faced him when he was at Atletico-MG, and he was terrifying to play against. In 13 games against my Corinthians teams, he scored 11 goals and got an assist.”

Grêmio’s 21 year old volante Arthur was another surprise call and Tite was impressed by his performance in a recent match against Botafogo, “When I went to the game (between Gremio and Botafogo), I wanted to see the atmosphere of the game, the emotional side, the pressure of it all.

“I could size up the environment in which the kid was playing so naturally. I cannot close doors to a player in a team where he is so important despite his age.

"I do not know if, in nine months from now, he will have a place, but he is a prospect for the future. I can compare him now to where Gabriel Jesus was [when he started his Brazil career].”


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