Berlin, March 28 (IANS) Brazil coach Tite has praised his team’s ability to cope without injured forward Neymar following a 1-0 victory over Germany here.
Gabriel Jesus struck the only goal of the match on Tuesday as Brazil gained a shot in the arm as they fine-tune their preparations for the World Cup in Russia, Xinhua news agency reported.
The result also went some way to healing the wounds inflicted by Germany’s 7-1 victory over the Selecao in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup.
“Our best player was out,” Tite said of the match at Berlin’s Olympic stadium. “The team missed Neymar, but we are learning to play and be strong without him. This all helps to generate team strength.”
Neymar is currently recovering from surgery to repair a cracked fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He is not expected to resume training until late May.
While Germany coach Joachim Low rested several key players for Tuesday’s match, Tite took no chances against the reigning World Cup champions.
His starting eleven included three holding midfielders — Paulinho, Fernandinho and Casemiro — in a sign that the Selecao were determined to avoid a repeat of the events in Belo Horizonte four years ago.
“It’s true that there was a lingering ghost,” Tite said. “I’ve felt that some people have even tried to avoid talking about it (the 2014 defeat). That’s life. It’s in the past. But people won’t forget about it just because we won.”
Brazil have been drawn in the World Cup’s Group E alongside Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia. The tournament will be played in 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15.