Dubai: There are no worries about Brazil’s football legacy in future and coach Tite’s (or Adenor Leonardo Bacchi) role looks secured for the near future.
There have been ups than downs in recent times, but these have been attributed to the rebuilding process that is currently going on.
Last weekend, the under-17 squad secured their fourth World Cup with an injury time strike for a 2-1 win against Mexico. Tite smiled with satisfaction not just because his counterpart Guilherme Dalla Dea has done a good job with another title for the country, but perhaps more because the senior national team coach has been guaranteed with exciting young talents in his set-up.
“There is no doubt on the abundance of talent in all age groups of Brazilian football,” Tite told media during their build-up to their Brazil Global Tour match against Korea Republic.
“There are a lot of coaches like Guilherme, who have been doing a lot of hard work in getting top-quality players ready. I am confident of what is to come,” he added.
Knowing that football is perhaps one of the few export-oriented commodities of Brazil, scouts have been keeping a keen eye on the next crop of youngsters. Names like Reiner Jesus, Kaio Jorge, Gabriel Veron and Talles Magno have begun causing an excitement in the footballing world.
Only 17 years of age, Jesus did not play for the national team that won last weekend. But known to be in the mould of Neymar, Reiner has already evinced interest from FC Barcelona with the Catalan club offering the attacking midfielder from Flamengo a whopping €70 million.
There is 17-year-old Santos forward Kaio Jorge, who won the bronze boot at last week’s Fifa U17 World Cup along with the Palmeiras right winger Gabriel Veron and Vasco Da Gama striker Talles Magno.
Within the national set-up, Tite also has an array of names like ‘baby of the squad’ Rodrygo Goes (18) alongside a 20-year-old Emerson from Betis, a couple of 21-year-olds in Real Madrid’s Eder Militao and Athletic Madrid’s Renan Lodi and three 22-year-olds — AC Milan’s Lucas Paqueta, Everton’s Richarlison and Manchester City’s mainstay Gabriel Jesus.
However, the crux of the team is centred around the experience of skipper Thiago Silva (35) of Paris Saint Germain, goalkeeper Alisson, now 27, along with the Juventus defending duo of Danilo (24) and Alex Sandro (28), star midfielders such as Real Madrid’s Casemiro (27), Bayern Munich’s Philippe Coutinho (27), Chelsea’s Willian (31) and the Liverpool duo of Fabinho (26) and Roberto Firmino (28).
“I work with what I have,” Tite explained when asked about his choice of players. “As the coach it is my responsibility to look at the best interest of the team, of the country and of football, of course,” he smiled.
Tite replaced Dunga in June 2016 following Brazil’s poor performance at the Copa America Centenario. The 58-year-old led the team to Russia for the World Cup where they went down to Belgium in the quarter-finals. Immediately after the World Cup, Tite signed a new contract that will keep him with the five-time world champions till the end of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
Teen Rodrygo, who got just two minutes of play against Korea on Tuesday, has found favour with Tite. The Brazilian coach insisted he would be patient with his talent, who made an impressive start for Real Madrid while scoring twice in four La Liga appearances and also notching up a hat-trick in their 6-0 pounding of Galatasaray in Champions League action earlier this month.
Last Saturday, Rodrygo got 19 minutes in his debut against Argentina. “It’s one thing to throw Rodrygo into a system that’s already structured. It’s another thing to put him in a team that is being re-assembled, even if he is doing the same job in the same position,” Tite noted.
In July, Tite led Brazil to their ninth Copa America triumph on home soil — their first Copa America in 12 years and their first trophy in six years. Since June 2016, Tite has won 34 of the 48 matches played — counting up to nearly a 71 per cent success rate.
He can now look forward to continuing this momentum with his forces towards mounting perhaps the most competitive World Cup qualifying campaign that will get under way in March 2020.