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“Neymar Is Top Three in the World” Insists Tite

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When Brazil won this summer’s Copa America, with Neymar looking on from the treatment room, many pundits began to speculate as to whether the Selecao were better off without their talisman. Neymar’s talent is beyond repute, but he has endured bad press for the last two years and more as he is perceived as an individual in a team sport.

Despite his virtuoso talents, many began to feel that his inclination for individual feats was holding back his teammates. Without Neymar, Brazil settled on a frontline that accommodated Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus, with Everton Cebolinha impressing from a wide left role. But Tite does not agree. Find out the best betting sites for 2019 and enjoy the best offers for the Brazilian Football.

“For me, Neymar is in the top three in the world in terms of individual and technical quality,” he told the pre Colombia press conference. “Messi and Ronaldo are ahead, they are a different generation. If I go to this generation, Neymar and Hazard are the two players that are amazing. But one advantage Neymar has is that he can think as fast as Hazard, but he can do things faster.

“In normal conditions, Neymar is unstoppable. His technical quality and improvisations are huge. I hope his situation at PSG can be resolved, but that is not in my hands. I can’t solve it, all I can do is hope things run smoothly.” Tite has been accused of indulging Neymar too much, strangely awarding him the captaincy before withdrawing the armband ahead of Copa America.

There were also reports that some players were upset when Neymar’s father was allowed into the dressing room when his son was injured in the Qatar friendly- an injury that ruled the player out of the Copa America. Tite has a rule that the dressing room is reserved for players and coaching staff only and Neymar was not reprimanded for his father breaching this code.

However, the player responded well on the pitch during Brazil’s 2-2 draw with Colombia in Miami. Everton Cebolinha was spared due to Gremio’s Copa do Brasil commitments and Neymar looked like he had never been away, teasing and prompting Colombia’s defence at will. He also helped himself to a second half equaliser, put on a plate for him by his good friend Dani Alves.

The performance went a long way to quelling the growing impression that Brazil might be better off without the attention he brings and his individualistic style of play. Colombia again tried to provoke him with heavy challenges, which, initially, he did well not to react to. He is often targeted precisely because he reacts to provocation.

Temperatures did boil over after the game in scenes reminiscent of the player’s 2016 Copa America meltdown against the same opponents, which earned the player a four match ban. He finally succumbed to Colombia’s provocation and they will feel vindicated by the tactic, which also means they will re-deploy it when the teams meet in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. It was the one blot on Neymar’s copybook in Miami.


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