‘Neymar has to be treated like any 25-year-old kid’

Neymar is key to Brazil’s chances of glory in Russia next summer. (AP)
Updated 08 December 2017
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‘Neymar has to be treated like any 25-year-old kid’

MOSCOW: When Neymar broke down in tears in a recent press conference, it was Tite, sat alongside him, who provided a solid shoulder to cry on. Brazil’s No10 had been forced to dispel rumors of dressing room discord at Paris Saint-Germain and when Tite came to his defense, it all became too much for the former Barcelona forward. It was a rare glimpse at the relationship, and deference, the two men have for each other. 
Speaking to Arab News, Tite elaborated on the psychological issues at play when it comes to a player such as Neymar, whom he will be sure to rely on next summer as Brazil go to Russia looking to lift the trophy. 
“Neymar has to be treated like any 25-year-old kid,” Tite said. “He is a 25-year-old boy, who does not know everything, who has a lot of life ahead of him and is an idol. He is always in the news because he is among the three best players in the world. He has great media visibility and with that comes issues: Many people will love you, but others will envy you and often they will talk badly. When you get more visibility, many friends appear from nowhere and there appears a lot of jealousy and problems too.”
Meanwhile Luan, who won the Copa Libertadores last week with Gremio and will contest the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi later this month, has been spoken of as a potential back-up for the PSG forward. Tite, however, rendered such a switch impossible: “Luan plays centrally, whereas Neymar plays to the left, cutting into the middle,” he added. “It is a slightly different function, even by the physical characteristics: Luan is not a speed player, he is more about touch and articulation. He has a role more similar to that of Coutinho, which could be a possibility.”


‘My feelings? Mixed’: Sebastian Vettel clings on in desperate Lewis Hamilton pursuit as Kimi Raikonnen wins US Grand Prix

Updated 10 min 5 sec ago
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‘My feelings? Mixed’: Sebastian Vettel clings on in desperate Lewis Hamilton pursuit as Kimi Raikonnen wins US Grand Prix

AUSTIN: Sebastian Vettel said he felt mixed emotions after keeping his slender title challenge alive by finishing fourth in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, won by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
The four-time champion, who started fifth on the grid after taking a three-place penalty, recovered from an opening lap spin to fight through the field in a tactical contest that left Lewis Hamilton frustrated in his bid to clinch his fifth drivers world title.
“My feelings? Mixed,” he said. “Happy. Really happy for Kimi. But not much for me. It should have been a better day.”
Vettel can only stop Hamilton taking his fifth drivers title next weekend in Mexico by winning the race and hoping Hamilton hits problems that keep him out of the top seven places.
He said he suffered a major blow when he clashed with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap.
“I must have been in his blind spot. I’m not sure he saw me. The corner kept tightening and we hit. It was a big loss for me.”
Vettel’s disappointment took nothing away from a resurgent Ferrari’s satisfaction in recovering their mid-season pace, after abandoning several recent upgrades, and claiming a revitalising victory.
“I am very proud of them all,” said Ferrari team chief Maurizio Arrivabene.
“I was always proud of the guys and even more when we are winning races. It’s been hard for us recently and we had a race engineer pass away last weekend.... I have nothing more to add. It was great today. Thank you USA!“
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff admitted that Ferrari had been faster than his team, as he had feared.
“We lacked the pace and I said don’t close it too early. They are very fast. Kimi winning is great for him and for Ferrari, so let’s go to the next race in Mexico now.
“It was difficult to overtake, but for us it was a strategy that got worse as it progressed. We need to re-think and see what we can do better. We put on a good show altogether and that’s what’s more important.”