Brazil, one of the favourites for the World Cup in Qatar, was surprisingly eliminated in the quarter-finals by Croatia on penalties, missing out on their sixth title after 20 years. The Selecao’s drought is thus extended by at least another four years.
Following the failure, Canarinha coach Tite has resigned, as he announced he would do a year and a half ago.
“The defeat hurts, but I’m at peace with myself. As I’ve said before, I’ve ended a cycle with the national team. I’m not a man who changes his word. Those who know can confirm that about me,” said Tite, who also defended himself against accusations levelled at him about the order of the players in the penalty shoot-out, where the 20-year-old Rodrygo was the first to shoot and missed: “We were saving Neymar for the fifth penalty, which is the most important.”
At the same time, journalists back home wonder why Tite took Vinicius and Militao off the pitch so early, given that they, as Real Madrid players, are used to pressing at the end of matches when looking to score a goal. The Brazilian press recalled that Tite never really liked Vinicius, whom he has refused several call-ups in the past, despite his excellent club team form.
Moreover, the 61-year-old coach is accused of preferring to go straight to the dressing room after his team’s elimination, instead of staying on the pitch and consoling his players. “This time, he was not a good ‘father’,” wrote Brazilian journalists.
In just a few days, Tite’s image has suffered enormously. After South Korea’s elimination in the Round of 16, the press praised the Brazilian coach for his joyful dance with his players on the pitch.
However, after more than 2 300 days at the helm of Brazil’s national team, Tite leaves behind more successes than failures. When he arrived, he had to replace Dunga, who was a legend of Brazilian football, but the pressure didn’t seem to weigh on him too much. In his tenure, Tite did, however, manage two consecutive World Cup quarter-final qualifications.
The figures are in his favour
Since taking over the national team, Tite has sat on the bench in 80 matches. He has recorded 61 wins, 14 draws and five defeats. In the last four years, he has lost only three times. Four, if you count the loss to Croatia as a defeat, even though the result was a draw in normal time. They finished unbeaten in the South American preliminaries, with a record of 14 wins and three draws. His team scored 40 goals and conceded five. Jogo Bonito was reborn thanks to this man.
In addition, they won the Copa America 2019 and reached the final of the next edition, losing the title to Argentina at the Maracana. Perhaps one of the hardest hits he took during his time with the Brazilian team.
He wasn’t a big name as a footballer
In a game like Brazil’s, it’s very hard to stand out both on and off the pitch. Tite failed to do it as a player. At the age of 27, he decided to hang up his boots after seven knee operations. His position was a midfielder and he played for Caixas, Guarani, Esportivo and Portuguesa.
Not having a big name as a footballer, he had to start practically from scratch as a manager. It took him ten years to reach a top team in his home country, Gremio of Porto Alegre. From there, he began his career at an elite level, and he didn’t leave until he was offered the Brazil national team coach’s job. Now, after his departure from the national team, he is probably free to resume his work with his club teams after a period of rest.