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Tite Defends ‘Physically Gifted’ Neymar

Brazil coach Tite has defended his under fire star Neymar, amidst criticism over his form and some of his perceived histrionics during the World Cup. The player has been fouled 14 times in total during the tournament.

He also broke down in tears on the pitch after the final whistle following the 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday. But Tite insisted that Neymar is a gifted physical athlete following his recovery from a broken metatarsal.

“If Neymar is here with us today, it is because he is physically gifted. Otherwise he wouldn't have recovered in time. Vs Switzerland his heat map shows he was limited to one zone. Vs Costa Rica he travelled in many zones. Give him one more game and he'll improve even more.

“On my debut vs Ecuador, I cried too. I went to my wife after the game in tears, I was very happy. I cried out of joy, out of pride because there was so much pressure on me to pull a successful game,” he said of Neymar’s final whistle tears.

The coach also warned of Serbia’s strengths ahead of Wednesday night’s match, “Serbia is strong in aerial duels but they also have individual characteristics and players of high level. Strategically, we will do our best to neutralize them. Our team will be the same as usual.”


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