Brazil coach Tite on Monday defended his star striker Neymar against criticism in the penalty controversy that has engulfed the Paris Saint-Germain superstar and teammate Edinson Cavani.
The world’s most expensive player was booed by the PSG home fans despite scoring four goals in an 8-0 thrashing of Dijon a fortnight ago, after taking a penalty that could have given Cavani the club’s all-time goalscoring record.
However Tite defended his team’s biggest name ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia, saying that it was not up to Neymar whether or not he took spot-kicks for his club.
“At top clubs, the coach decides the line-up, the squad, substitutes and set pieces. (The criticism) was very unfair.” Tite said in an interview with the GloboEsporte website.
The incident fuelled rumours that Neymar is unhappy at PSG and failing to gell with other players, but he played downed the row after scoring another penalty in Saturday’s 4-0 thumping of Montpellier.
“The coach has chosen me to take the penalties,” told Brazilian media.
“The coach decides that and I have to assume the responsibility.
I know my responsibilities, I came here to take them on.”