Former Brazil boss Tite explains why Neymar didn't take a penalty vs Croatia and fans think it's an awful reason
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Former Brazil manager Tite has been slammed by furious fans over his reasoning behind Neymar not taking a penalty in their shock defeat to Croatia on Friday.
Brazil, who were considered one of the World Cup favourites, were unable to break the deadlock in regular playing time against a resilient Croatia side in Qatar.
However, Neymar fired the five-time World Cup champions into the lead in the first half of extra-time as Brazil looked to seal a win in the quarter-finals.
Croatia striker Bruno Petkovic went on to score the all-important equaliser in the second half of extra-time to send the World Cup tie into a penalty shootout.
Mislav Orsic, Luka Modric, Lovro Majer and Nikola Vlasic all successfully beat Brazil shot-stopper Alisson from the spot-kick at the Education City Stadium.
Rodrygo missed Brazil’s opening penalty before Pedro and Casemiro converted from the spot-kick, with Marquinhos’ crucial fourth effort hitting the post.
Fans were surprised to see Neymar, who is Brazil’s designated penalty kick taker, not step up during the shootout as his side crashed out of the World Cup.
However, Tite revealed that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar was Brazil’s fifth-choice taker for the shootout and called it the “decisive penalty.”
What a moment for Croatia! — BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 9, 2022
They're in their THIRD World Cup semi-final - they only qualified for the first time in 1998! 🤯#BBCFootball #BBCWorldCup pic.twitter.com/I3AD7UGJuB
Speaking after Brazil’s exit from the World Cup, he said: “He [Neymar] is the fifth and decisive penalty taker.
“The player who has more quality and the mentality to step up then is under greatest pressure.”
Tite’s post-match comments on Neymar quickly made the rounds on social media, with some fans in complete disagreement over his decisive penalty-taker remark.
“The third and fourth takers are the most important, because the penalties might not even go to the fifth taker,” one fan commented.
Someone else simply tweeted: “All penalties are equally important.”
While another Twitter user argued: “It’s not the most decisive... It only depends on the outcome of the other four shooters. Sometimes the most decisive penalty is the first shooter.”
“I can’t begin unpicking the flawed nature of this logic,” a fourth fan said.
And a fifth fan posted: “The decision costed him.”
Tite, who was appointed Brazil boss in 2016, candidly said the defeat to Croatia was “painful” as he confirmed his departure from the managerial role.
“It is a painful defeat but I go in peace. It is the end of a cycle,” he said.
“I already said that a year and a half ago. I didn’t come here to win and then turn around and say I was going to stay. People who know me know that.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Brazil, Croatia, Football World Cup, Neymar, Football