Pressure is natural, says Brazil coach Tite ahead of opener

Brazil coach Tite during the press conference. Photo: Reuters/Suhaib Salem

Doha: Brazil have no problem being the favorites to win the World Cup and dealing with the pressure must be natural for their players, coach Tite said on Wednesday.

"The pressure is natural. Brazil have the biggest history in soccer and with that legacy always comes the pressure," Tite told a news conference ahead of their World Cup Group G debut against Serbia on Thursday.

"We have some of the players that call the biggest media attention in the world so we take it naturally, it's our dream winning a World Cup. Pressure is inevitable."

Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times and Tite said it is not his responsibility that Brazil have not won the tournament in 20 years.

He said he can only be accountable for the last four years, his only complete cycle since Brazil lost against Belgium in the quarterfinals in Russia in 2018.

"In Russia we only had two years to fix the team and I came to the rescue. Now is different because I had the opportunity the build the team the way I wanted," Tite said.

"That's why my feeling today is completely different than four years ago. I'm not that nervous because all the work has been done."

Tite did not disclose his team selection.

His background as a defensive coach means there has been much speculation over his picks for the match against Serbia, with the biggest question mark surrounding Vinicius Jr.

The 22-year-old scored Real Madrid's winner in the Champions League final against Liverpool and finished eighth in the Ballon d'Or last month, elevating him to world-class level in his fifth season with the La Liga side.

However, only the players know if he will secure a place in the starting 11 against Serbia, with Tite not disclosing whether he will pair Fred with his Manchester United teammate Casemiro to strengthen the midfield or unleash Vinicius up front alongside Neymar, Richarlison and Raphinha.

"We have three models and we will adapt accordingly regarding each opponent that we face. All the players know that and are aware," Tite said.

"Me as a coach, I need to have the capacity to potentialise the best characteristics of each player.

"Vinicius is one of the players up front that have made their cases playing at the highest level with their clubs. They were the one who call themselves upon. Now is my job to fit them in my scheme."

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