Brazil coach Tite says he won’t apologize to those who ‘don’t know Brazilian history and culture’ after he criticized his players for dancing after scoring goals at the World Cup .
Tite, 61, even joined in the celebrations in the 4-1 win over South Korea in their Round of 16.
“It’s a connection I have with the younger generation – they could be my grandchildren,” he said.
“If I have to dance to connect with them, I will keep dancing.”
Speaking ahead of Friday’s quarter-final against Croatia, he added: “I’m not going to apologize when dancing and having fun is in our culture.”
Brazil forwards Vinicius Junior and Neymar both led orchestrated dance moves after scoring the first two goals against South Korea, with Richarlison running to the bench and inviting his manager to join him after the third.
Former Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane was unimpressed and said he thought the moves were “disrespectful” to South Korea.
Tite denied these accusations and said he has a responsibility to preserve the identity of Brazilian football.
“I will not comment on those who do not know the history and culture of Brazil like us,” he said.
“I want my connection to be with the people I identify with, who know how much I respect our history, they’re the ones I give my heart to.
“There could be a lot of kids dancing because that’s what Brazilian culture is when a goal is scored. It’s not disrespecting anyone else – it’s what what we do is us.
“We will continue to do things our way.”
Alex Sandro will train on Thursday – team news
Brazilian coach Tite’s biggest concern seems to be the left-back. Alex Telles was injured early in the tournament, while Alex Sandro suffered a hip injury during the group stages and missed the Round of 16 tie against South Korea, with Juventus team-mate Danilo replacing in place.
During his press conference on Thursday, Tite said Sandro, 31, would take part in training on Thursday and “then see if he can play”.
“No one has faced Brazil”
I worked as a co-commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live in all four of Brazil’s games at this World Cup, and no team has really come up against them yet.
Each of their group games started with sides sitting – defending deep with a low block – and two of the three teams they played against, Serbia and Switzerland, failed to get a shot on target.
The difference when they faced South Korea in the last 16 was that they scored an early goal in a knockout game which opened the game – and it was 3-0 and up before the half hour.
Neymar’s return from injury definitely helped Brazil in this game, and they made a small statement on the way to their victory.
Croatia will play with balance, rather than massive defense – but they certainly won’t be at the forefront.
They have good players – young and old – but Brazil will be too strong.
Sutton’s prediction: 0-3
Can Croatia finally beat Brazil?
- Brazil have never lost in their four previous encounters with Croatia in all competitions (three wins and one draw)
- Croatia have lost four of their five World Cup matches against South American sides, apart from a 3-0 victory over Argentina in 2018.
- Since beating Germany 2-0 in the 2002 final, Brazil have lost each of their last five World Cup knockout matches against European nations.
- In a streak dating back to Euro 2008, seven of Croatia’s last eight knockout ties at major tournaments have been extended and they have progressed from all four World Cup matches – three via penalties.