When I ended the chat citing the 97 days left for the World Cup, coach Tite revealed his anxiety and apprehension for the moment. The commander of the Brazilian team turned to his assistant, Cléber Xavier, and said every time he hears about the countdown to the World Cup, he has that notion of reality, that butterflies in his stomach, that “the time is coming”.
It is a natural anxiety of a professional who carries a gigantic responsibility to lead the national team at a World Cup for the second time in a row. But it is also a huge contrast in relation to the meticulous preparation and full of data and details.
Rodrigo Faraco interview coach Tite — Photo: Reproduction/NSC
But even on the eve of the Cup, there are still spaces for testing in the team going to Qatar. The topic of the moment is Peter. Tite does not anticipate a call-up, but I asked two questions about the Flamengo striker and the answers indicate that he will have his opportunity on the September list for the last two friendlies at the end of next month, before the Cup.
– By the level he is also having and following up. One of Dorival’s great merits was adjusting Flamengo, playing with two forwards, one for movement, which is Gabigol, and one more for the area, and he is performing every game. Without guaranteeing absolutely anything, as he is not part of me, he is in a great moment, potentiated by the moment in the team’s recovery – he said.
Pedro, Flamengo, Corinthians, Libertadores — Photo: Alexandre Durão
Something that draws attention is how Tite always seeks eye contact with the technical assistant Cléber Xavier. He is a kind of curator of the data that sometimes fails in the memory of the coach of the Selection. At the same time, he reveals teamwork, which has the coach as the central figure, but with total openness to the discussion of ideas and arguments from the team behind the scenes.
That’s how Raphinha was called, the talent from Avaí’s base, who was flying high at Leeds United, from England, when he was called for the first time, and who today wears the Barcelona shirt. Without vanity, Tite told how his commission arrived with overwhelming data about the player and made it impossible for him not to call the news.
– Raphinha was a great discovery of my coaching staff. We had a long list of 35, 40 athletes, and Raphinha was not there. They entered my room and said they had Raphinha, I asked them to filter it, and they said it was gone.
Raphinha celebrates a goal in Real Madrid vs Barcelona in Las Vegas – Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty
It’s not long before the Cup. The month of September will be decisive for the last definitions. Tite admitted that there is no way to measure how much is already certain and how much is still doubt. But in words, in general, there is a lot of conviction in the work carried out, and in the coach’s eyes there is that special glow of a professional with a desire to win and bring the hexa at the end of the year.