Tite is more worried than usual. Two days before the game against South Korea in the round of 16 of the World Cup, injury problems are piling up in the Brazilian team. Coach wasn’t prepared to deal with that.
There were five casualties in the group stage. The injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles, on Friday (2), against Camares, were the most recent. Both are out of the Worlds, with injuries on the right knee.
Neymar, Danilo and Alex Sandro are also being treated by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) medical and physiotherapy team, in a race against time to face the Koreans.
In the training sessions on Saturday (3) and Sunday (4), the Selecao coach made a stronger psychological approach with the players. The idea hits home that they need to play for their teammates who have been downed by injuries.
Furthermore, I would reinforce that the World Cup is a four-year cycle and that, therefore, they need to value all the effort to reach Qatar.
The problem is that many of them are also suffering from the problems of their teammates.
“Honestly, it’s very complicated. A situation that makes us very sad”, said defender Thiago Silva, one of the leaders of the squad and captain in the first two games in the Cup.
There is a special concern with Neymar. First, because of the uncertainty about his return not only for the duel for the round of 16. The debt for the rest of the Worlds and is messing with his morale.
The star is also very friendly with Gabriel Jesus, and seeing the Arsenal player lose the chance to continue in the tournament also upset him.
As it is not yet known under what conditions Alex Sandro will return, nor if he will actually be able to start the match against South Korea, the Sevilla athlete would be the natural substitute for the starter.
The importance of Daniel Alves
In this scenario, the importance of one of the 26 summoned who had his most contested presence in the Brazilian delegation grows, the veteran Daniel Alves, 39.
Right-back of origin, he can be moved to play on the left to fill the lack of the position. He already played in the sector in the 2010 Copa América, at the option of the then coach of the national team, Mano Menezes.
Daniel was a starter against Camares, playing on the right. He played a low-key game, playing more of a defensive role.
Before debuting in the Cup, he was questioned about being called up and treated the subject with good humor. He said he understands the criticism for his age and having arrived at the tournament after two months of inactivity, but said he has a role to play in the squad.
“I think my mission in the national team is to do my best for the team,” he said. “If I have to play tambourine, I’ll be the best tambourine player you’ve ever seen in your life”, he said.
Defeat to Cameroon
With early classification for the knockout stage, Tite only used substitutes against the Cameroonians and saw his team perform apathetic, wasting the few chances it created and even conceding a goal in the final minutes. Lost 1-0.
It was a poor response to players often questioned about their ability to replace key players in the squad, particularly Neymar.
Rodrygo, one of the most favored for the number 10 spot, tried to show up for the moves, tried some sprints, but was unable to open the spaces that the owner of the position usually gives to his teammates.
Seleo really misses the biggest star in the squad. “With his return, my role up front improves, the whole team improves”, points out Richarlison, also rested against the Africans.
Tite understands his players’ despondency over the loss to Camares and the injuries to some players. For him, this really has to be a moment of suffering.
“The team feels and has to feel when it loses. It’s part of life. But football and the competition give us, for having won the first two games, a second chance. The World Cup isn’t usually like that”, stated the coach.
He will also need to show reaction power from now on.