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The resurgence of Brazil under Tite

Thursday 30th March 2017
The Brazil we used know is the Brazil that wallops opponents 3-nil and 4-nil in games; but recently, the Brazil we see, is a Brazil that gets thrashed 7-1 in a World Cup semi-final; a Brazil that simply cannot navigate the Copa America group stage. All that has changed since the coming of Tite!

At 55 years of age, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, popularly known as Tite, is a man who needs little or no introduction in South American football. Although not too known in Europe, the Brazilian gaffer has carved a niche for himself in America. Over the past 25 years, he's managed Brazilian teams such as Juventude, Caxias, Grêmio, Corinthians and Atlético Mineiro. He won the Copa Libertadores with Corinthians in 2012 and led them to their second World Club Cup title.

After a short stint as manager of Corinthians in 2015, Tite was appointed as manager of the Brazilian national team in June 2016. At the time he was appointed the head coach of Brazil, the Seleção were desperately in need of a lift. They had started the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in the worst possible fashion – under Dunga.

By the end of March, Brazil had only taken 9 points from six games after suffering a 2-nil defeat to Chile, a 1-1 draw with Argentina, a 2-2 draw with Uruguay and a similar result against Paraguay. Only a 3-1 win against Venezuela and a 3-0 win against Peru were the glimmer of hope for a team that looked overly unconvincing. By the end of matchday 6, Brazil was then stuck on sixth in the CONMEBOL qualifying standings. Things looked really grim for the five-time World Cup winners.
However, Tite's arrival heralded a change in the fortunes of the Seleção; they've since gone nine games without dropping points; scored 25 goals in those games and conceded just twice. It's also been noted that Tite's team is yet to concede from open play since he took charge – given that the two goals they've conceded have been an own goal and a penalty.

With such impeccable form, it's no surprise that Brazil is the first team to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup, besides hosts, Russia - with four games to spare. Tite has rekindled that winning mentality in the Brazil side which has since been lacking and the result is there for all to see.
Tite seems to get his selection right every time – he's managed to do this by reducing the team's dependence on Barcelona star, Neymar. This is perhaps the bane of past managers who heaped so much responsibility on the 25-year-old, the entire team suffered for it – Argentina is still stuck in Messi-world and may end up not qualifying for the World Cup because of that.

Under Tite, there's been six different captains of the national team (Neymar, Miranda, Dani Alves, Fernandinho, Renato Augusto and Filipe Luis), all within a year. This has given the senior players a sense of responsibility making them look up to Neymar a little less. Agree with Tite or not, the results are glaring.

Tite's involvement of youngsters in the squad has also worked wonders. The likes of Gabriel Jesus, Marquinhos and Casemiro have become regulars in the national team under Tite – these guys have so far, not disappointed.

Tite's 4-1-4-1 formation is also working a treat. The centre-half pairing of Jao Miranda and Marquinhos have banished the ghost of Thiago Silva and David Luiz. Casemiro is great in that holding role as he is for Real Madrid. Tite also deserves some credit for the resurgence of Paulinho; the Spurs flop, who has since moved to the Chinese Super League, has been a man on fire since the coming of Tite; Paulinho has scored 4 goals in his last 8 games in World Cup qualifying.

Tite has absolutely rebranded the Brazil team and if they can keep up this run, they could well, win that elusive sixth World Cup title.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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