Tite insists that Neymar hadn’t given him any reasons to doubt his fitness after the forward lasted just 12 minutes into Brazil’s 1-1 friendly draw with Nigeria.
For the fourth match in succession, Tite named Neymar in the Brazil line-up for Sunday’s friendly in Singapore against Nigeria.
But the Paris Saint-Germain attacker, who made his 101st international appearance for the match, lasted just 12 minutes. Therefore, Tite called up Philippe Coutinho to replace the injury-prone star.
As he left the pitch, Neymar could be seen touching the back of his left thigh in apparent discomfort.
The good news, for Brazil and PSG supporters though, was that he didn’t seem in pain on the bench, while having a chat with a member of Tite’s coaching staff.
Although this didn’t stop the Selecao coach facing questions on the wisdom of playing Neymar given his terrible luck with injuries over the last two years.
When asked if the 27-year-old was a risk beforehand, Tite told reporters: “No, not at all.
“It would be irresponsible and incompetent of me [to play him if he was a doubt]. I would have to receive the complaints of the coach and the president of PSG if that happened.”
Without Neymar, Brazil extended their winless streak to four matches after finishing with a draw in Singapore.
Joe Aribo’s low shot handed Nigeria a shock 35th-minute lead for his second goal in as many games. However, Casemiro fired one back for Brazil just three minutes into the second half.
The Real Madrid midfielder later hit the post before Coutinho missed a potential winner five minutes from time.