Brazil can cope without Neymar – Tite defends Selecao stars


Neymar’s absence from Brazil’s Copa America campaign is not an excuse for the 0-0 group-stage draw against Venezuela, says head coach Tite.

Hosts Brazil were booed by their own fans in Salvador after VAR reviews ruled out goals from Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho in a frustrating stalemate.

Tite’s side remain ahead of Peru on goal difference in Group A and the sides will contest top spot when they meet on Saturday, with back-to-back draws meaning Venezuela remain in the quarter-final hunt.

Neymar suffered ankle ligament damage in a pre-tournament friendly against Qatar to rule him out of the Copa.

Although Tite acknowledges the Paris Saint-Germain superstar’s absence is significant, he believes there is enough talent elsewhere in his squad to compensate.

“Any team in the world would miss Neymar. He is top three [in the world],” he told a post-match news conference, having also seen a first-half effort from Roberto Firmino chalked off on Tuesday.

“But I want to talk about this team. They can recover. We have the conditions to be more consistent, adjusting our passes, [making] better choices and movements.

“We have those conditions independently of Neymar or any other player.

“I have concerns, yes. The players are not insensitive. But we must know how to work on the adversity.”

Tite defended the hostile reaction to his team from the home faithful but experienced defender Thiago Silva felt the jeers were unfair.

“In my opinion, no [it was not deserved],” he said. “Mainly because Venezuela created little. This was because of the good work defensively, with the good structure of our team.

“Every second ball was ours. Sometimes we would rush to try to make the last quick pass and it would go wrong, but I think overall the team played well.

“But when you do not score a goal it seems that everything is wrong.”

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