Leader Neymar has matured - Tite

The Selecao coach has backed the PSG forward to lead by example after announcing his no.10 will become the permanent Brazil captain

Brazil coach Tite has backed Neymar to lead Brazil after naming the PSG forward his permanent captain.

Neymar resigned from the role after leading the Selecao to gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Tite decided not to replace him, instead rotating the honour around his squad - Tite has named 16 different captains in his 26 matches as Brazil boss.

But Neymar, who received criticism for 'exaggerating fouls' during a World Cup where he was repeatedly targeted by opposition defenders, will now resume the role and Tite insists the 26-year-old has grown.

"As time goes by, people grow and mature," Tite said. "All of us are human beings and we evolve."

“I make mistakes and I will continue to do so. When he complained [to the referee] at the World Cup against Costa Rica, he was booked. 

“I called him in and told him how damaging that was. And he did not complain any more. This shows he is learning on a human level. He has my confidence, he’s top three in the world for me.

“He has a new way of doing things. We cannot erase what has happened, but we are building a new future.”

That future begins on Friday as the Brasil Global Tour sees the five-time world champions meet USA in New Jersey in what will be Brazil’s first test since their quarter-final defeat to Belgium at the World Cup in Russia.

"The pain of that defeat is still strong. “There’s no use hiding from it,” Tite said. 

“I would wake up at night sometimes thinking we had not lost, because the World Cup brought us some good things. But we just really want to play tomorrow and we will be tactically prepared, for sure.”

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