Tuesday 19 February 2019

Tite 'at peace' after win

Brazil's coach Tite
Brazil's coach Tite

Brazil coach Tite said he would have a Caipirinha after his side booked their place in the last 16 with a 2-0 win over Serbia.

Paulinho and Thiago Silva provided the goals at Moscow's Spartak Stadium but this was by far the most complete team performance Brazil have turned in at the finals in Russia 2018 so far.

The 57-year-old said: "I am at peace and I will definitely have a drink, a Caipirinha."

Asked how he felt about the bookmakers reacting to Germany's shock exit earlier on Wednesday by making Brazil the clear favourites to win Russia 2018, Tite said: "We don't live off expectations, we live off reality - we are getting better."

He had much more to say about how his team has developed in the two years he has been in charge, how hard he finds it to leave such great players as Manchester City's Fernandinho or Liverpool's Roberto Firmino on the bench or the perils of reading too much into match statistics - Tite is known for his rhetorical flourishes and he was in full flow here.

Paulinho was named man of the match, largely for his willingness to run beyond Serbia's defence and it was on one of those forays forward that he was found by Coutinho for Brazil's first goal after 36 minutes.

A reporter asked the former Spurs man if his time in the Chinese Super League was crucial to his rebirth as a goal-scoring midfielder.

Paulinho said: "Leaving England for China was good for me because I regained my self-confidence - I played well there and helped the club. But I'm here because I worked hard and I deserve it."

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