‘Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose’. Tite quits Brazil after Croatia loss

By Samindra Kunti in Doha

December 11 – Brazil coach Tite has stepped down following his team’s heartbreaking quarter-final elimination on penalties by Croatia, but he refused to accept criticism that the Seleçao conceded a crucial late equaliser in extra-time because of disorganisation. 

Tite confirmed that he will depart his post after the last-eight exit. Brazil have been knocked out four times at that stage since their last World Cup win in 2002. The 61-year-old succeeded Carlos in 2016 and the CBF maintained him after defeat to Belgium at the World Cup in Russia.

“It’s a painful defeat but I’m at peace with myself, it’s the end of the cycle,” said Tite.  “It was a whole four-year process. Before it was a recovery process but now there’s been a whole sequence. I cannot make an assessment of the entire cycle but over time you and other people will do that.”

Tite and Brazil will be traumatised, having been knocked out for the fifth time in a row by European opposition. After a laboured performance, Neymar delivered what seemed to be salvation for Brazil with a splendid goal through the middle in the 105th minute, but Croatia, a side that never gives us up, rallied to draw level through Bruno Petkovic and took the match to penalties.

From the equaliser on, the result never seemed in doubt with a huge momentum shift and Croatia’s experience telling.

Tite however received a lot of criticism over how Brazil had conceded the equaliser, picked off by the quick transition of the Croatians.

“I don’t agree we were disorganised,” said Tite. ”We were defensive, we had players that put high pressure at the front. We tried to retain the game and we managed to close the centre of the pitch but I understand the pain and all criticisms people have towards my choices.”

“I think we need to be ready to share our joy and also willing to share our sadness and I think there is a new generation of players that will find strength in adversity and I understand I am the most responsible one. It is not about being a villain or a hero, there is no such thing in sport. That is football, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721855129labto1721855129ofdlr1721855129owedi1721855129sni@i1721855129tnuk.1721855129ardni1721855129mas1721855129