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‘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)
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.”

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