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Soccer News: Tite admits he made a mistake with Neymar’s injury, but remains confident Brazil’s talisman will return


Tite admitted he made a mistake by not realizing earlier that Neymar had injured his ankle during Brazil’s World Cup victory over Serbia.

Neymar hobbled in the 80th minute of the Selecao’s 2-0 win on Thursday after suffering a lateral ligament injury in his right ankle.

The Paris Saint-Germain star shared an update on his official Instagram account on Saturday, including photos of his badly swollen leg.

Tite said at the post-match press conference that he was confident that Neymar, as well as Danilo, who also suffered an injury against Serbia, would still be able to play in Qatar.

However, in his pre-match press conference ahead of Brazil’s second Group G game against Switzerland, Tite said he could have handled his star better.

“I made a mistake,” he said. “I didn’t realize it and I want to publicly admit it.

“He was injured, I did not see him have an injury, we did not receive this information.

“He tried to keep playing until he told us that he felt his ankle because that was when he had the opportunity to try to attack the team, he was involved in goals.

“I didn’t see him get injured, it was 10 minutes and it wasn’t malicious, it was accidental.”

Neymar was fouled nine times against Serbia and mistreated during his previous two World Cup matches.

At the 2014 and 2018 World Cups combined, Neymar fouled the lead 44 times – or once every 21 minutes, more than any other player who was thwarted at least 25 times.

“If we want to celebrate football, we have to pay attention to fouls because they are focused on specific players,” Tite said. “It’s a fact and it needs to be stopped.”

However, Tite remains confident that Neymar and Danilo will return before the end of Brazil’s campaign in Qatar.

“That’s my opinion,” he said. “From a medical point of view, I am not able to speak, but I have medical reports.

“I can continue to say this not only about Neymar, but also about Danilo. Both situations have changed, but we believe that both will be playable.

“We have to live day by day, deal with opportunities. We have 26 players who need to be in great shape, that’s how we work. It shows why team spirit is important.”

When told that even without Neymar, Brazil remained favorites to win the World Cup, Tite replied: “Neymar is an extraordinary talent, but we also rely on our other players.

“What I think about the main talents is that they are players who do everything well, and maybe in three cases they get them. Creativity is impermanent.

“This talent only appears two or three times a match and Neymar has that ability.

“There are other players as well. Assist from Vinicius [Junior]or creativity at the end of a draw from Richarlison, a header from Pedro, a chance for Gabriel Jesus, Rafinha… they have that ability.”


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