‘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
0

‘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.”


Saudi Arabia errors causing problems for Juan Antonio Pizzi

Updated 17 October 2018
0

Saudi Arabia errors causing problems for Juan Antonio Pizzi

  • The Saudi Arabia coach was speaking having watched his side draw 1-1 with Iraq in Riyadh on Monday
  • Despite snatching a draw from the jaws of defeat the Chilean coach admitted he was happier with the Green Falcons

RIYADH: Juan Antonio Pizzi has told the Green Falcons they can kiss goodbye any chance of Asian Cup glory unless they stop committing sloppy errors.
The Saudi Arabia coach was speaking having watched his side draw 1-1 with Iraq in Riyadh on Monday — a match that once again laid bare the Pizzi’s players’ propensity to gift the opposition goals.
The hosts were facing defeat at the King Saud University Stadium after Muhanad Ali put Iraq ahead after 71 minutes but there was relief in injury time as Abdulaziz Al-Bishi scored deep into added time to salvage a draw.
Despite snatching a draw from the jaws of defeat the Chilean coach admitted he was happier with the Green Falcons after their 2-0 loss at the hands of Brazil on Friday.
“We did not meet the level we have set for ourselves (against Iraq),” Pizzi said. “We were not at the level that we saw against Brazil. Iraq played well in defense and were well-organized. Iraq also took advantage of our mistakes during the game.”
Individual mistakes have littered Saudi Arabia’s matches over the past few months and were in evidence in September in a 2-2 draw with Bolivia. Once again, Iraq took advantage of a sloppy pass at the back to score the opening goal to leave the hosts chasing the game.
Pizzi is all too aware that the side cannot afford to continue being generous to the opposition ahead of the Asian Cup.
“Repeated individual mistakes do have an effect,” said the 2016 Copa America winning coach.
“We also need to take our chances when they come.”
Errors at the back and a lack of a reliable goalscorer are the major issues going forward into January where they will face North Korea, Lebanon and Qatar in their group.
Pizzi handed a debut to Niger-born striker Abdulfatah Adam but the Al-Tawoun struggled to make an impact before being withdrawn before the hour.
Overall, however, the coach is positive about the upcoming continental tournament.
“It is good to see what we need to do ahead of the Asian Cup. These two games with Brazil and Iraq have given us a chance to look at some of the players and their readiness.
“I am a serious coach who works with precision and effectiveness and this will stand us in good stead of the Asian Cup.”
The coach was buoyed by praise from Brazilian star Neymar, talking ahead of the South American clash with Argentina.
“I was not surprised by the level of Saudi Arabia against us,” the Paris Saint-Germain forward said.
“We saw at the World Cup what they could do and this is a team that I feel has lots of potential. They will develop further in the coming years.”
Iraq coach Srecko Katanec was left frustrated after the 94th minute equalizer cost him a first victory with Iraq since taking charge of the team last month.
“We deserved to win but decisions went against us at the end when we should have had a foul given against us,” the Slovenian said before taking the positives from the game.
“We played well against a strong Saudi Arabia team in Riyadh and the overall performance was a strong one.”
Iraq lost 4-0 to Argentina last Thursday and bounced back to give the former UAE coach hope ahead of the Asian Cup and group games against Iran, Vietnam and Yemen.
“We haven’t had much time together on the training pitch so there were lots to be encouraged about in two games against good teams. We need more time to build team cohesion and improve our organization.
“I have been happy with the players and there is obviously a lot of talent here.
“We are developing and gradually improving.”