Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 July 2020

Brazil manager Tite wants a 'great match' against South Korea in Abu Dhabi

Five-time world champions hope to put Argentina defeat behind them at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday

The Brazil manager Tite wants to make a “great match” for the fans when his side meet South Korea in a friendly at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (5.30pm start).

The five-time World Cup winners arrive in Abu Dhabi after a 1-0 defeat to a Lionel Messi-led Argentina in Saudi Arabia on Friday and will be keen to round off the tour with a win.

“We are building a side and this is a useful exercise in that build up,” Tite said at the pre-match presser on Monday.

“Against Argentina, we had our moments. And to build the team, we need such moments. The model, the tactics and the strengths of the two teams are going to be different in Tuesday’s game.

“When we get to the official matches, we’ll have a side ready for it. Football is simply practice. This match against Korea is an opportunity to test and fine-tune the team.

“I want to provide players the maximum opportunity and build their confidence by trying a few new things. I want to do my best and I expect the players to give their best.”

Tite said he had a lot of respect for Korea and insisted they were not a one-man team led by the Tottenham Hotspur forward Heung-min Son.

“We respect Korea,” he said. “They defeated Germany in the World Cup and many other teams in recent times.

“It’s not only Son, they are a well-rounded unit. I know Paulo Bento (Korean manager) from when he was working in Brazil. I have a lot of respect for him also.

“What we are trying to do here is win against Korea but we respect them as an opponent.

“They are not our enemies. This is football. I’m not desperate for a win but I want to make a great game for the fans of both Brazil and Korea. Of course we want to play to win.”


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Brazil’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers begin in March and Tite said they have already started preparations.

“I’m learning and understanding this process,” he said. “We are not far from the qualifiers but the process is in place and the two friendlies are part of that process.”

Brazil are expected to dominate possession with Arthur set to play the central role in the midfield.

Commenting on some of his players, Tite said Real Madrid star Rodrygo needs to get more opportunities and said he may change the roles of midfielders Fabinho, Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta.

“Rodrygo must be given time. We’ll need to give him the right moments. He’s young and he’ll get more chances,” Tite said.

“Fabinho and Casemiro do the same role on the pitch. I want more creativity on the middle and that’s why I used Fabinho with Arthur and Paqueta on the right.

“We can play 4-4-2-1 or 4-1-4-1. Against Argentina I used Arthur as a cover for Messi. However, let’s see what happens with the changes tomorrow.”

Tite had two spells with Arabian Gulf League sides Al Ain (2007) and Al Wahda (2010), and said he was happy to be back and meet some of his Emirati friends.

“I was at Wahda for only 60 days and for five games but they were very memorable moments. I remember the warm reception I was given and some of the matches.

“I remember the Abu Dhabi derby against Al Jazira on the same ground. It was a very exciting game and ended in a draw. Now I’m here with the Brazil side to play at the same stadium.”

The two teams meet for the sixth time with all of those meetings taking place outside competitions. South Korea have already started their World Cup qualification and will looking to spring a surprise.

Bento is expected to use this game to see where his South Korea side are and can expect a full-strength side.

“It’s another kind of game,” the Portuguese said when asked of his approach against Brazil.

“We are up against one of the best teams in the world and it’s another opportunity for our team to play against the best. We already played against some strong teams in the past like Colombia and Chile. We will try to our best.

“We have a clear idea of Brazil and we will have a lot of difficulty in this game. In Asia, we have dominated and controlled all the games but this game will be different.”

Jung Woo-young, the Korean midfielder who plies his trade at Al Sadd, shared similar sentiments of his manager.

“It’s very clear Brazil are one of the best teams in the world,” he said. “We know our opponent well and we know it’s going to be a difficult game, but at the same time we know in modern football there are ways for the weaker teams to win.

“We of course want to win against Brazil like we did against Germany in the World Cup.”

Updated: November 19, 2019 07:56 AM



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