Brazil national football team coach Tite admits Neymar ‘concern’

Rio (Brazil), March 24 (IANS): Brazilian soccer team manager Tite has revealed he has spoken privately with Neymar as the Paris Saint-Germain striker is going through one of the least productive periods of his career.

Neymar has managed just five goals in 21 games in all competitions for PSG this season while struggling with adductor and ankle injuries.

The scrutiny of the 30-year-old intensified earlier this month following the French club’s Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.

“We have a general concern, but there are things that are very intimate, that remain inside the locker room,” Tite told reporters on the eve of Brazil’s qualifier against Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio. of Janeiro.

“If one of my coaches, when I was a player, exposed my problems publicly, I would protest. I do with the players what I would like the coaches to do with me.”

Neymar’s return of one goal every 4.2 games this season compares to a career average of one goal per 1.7 games, Xinhua reports.

Tite said the national team structure would create a sort of sanctuary for the No.10, who sits second behind Pele on Brazil’s all-time top scorers list with 70 goals in 116 appearances.

“The reality of playing for a club is one thing and the reality of playing for the national team is another,” said Tite. “Several players [in the squad] have gone through a period of adversity with their clubs and others come here with high self-esteem. Neymar is used to playing under pressure. We already have the pressure we are putting on ourselves and we are not going to let the pressure from outside affect us.”

The five-time world champions top the South American zone standings and have already qualified for football’s flagship tournament, which will be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

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