Business time: Mood in Brazil camp intensifies as World Cup draws near

Rupert Fryer/Goal
Closed training sessions and fastidious conferences have all been illustrative of how coach Tite and his players have a new focus on Russia 2018

GOALOPINION

There’s a different mood around the Brazil camp on this month’s Brasil Global Tour.

In December, coach Tite informed all the staff at the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) that the next six months would require a deeper focus.

With the World Cup creeping ever closer, the pressure is building and the entire national team setup has taken on an a more determined tone.

Last week one training session was closed completely to the media, for only the second time since Tite’s September 2016 debut on the bench. 

And the majority of this week’s practices have been at least partially closed to the travelling Brazilian press pack.

Press conferences too, have seen the coach and the players selecting their words more carefully.

At times – such as when one journalist asked about the team’s role in relation to the changing political climate back home – questions have been sidestepped.

Tite is desperate to ensure that ‘the work’ takes precedence over all else – adamant there will be no controversy, and no debate over anything other than the football itself.

That's not to say that the relationship with the media has suffered in any way. Gregarious, erudite and eager to encourage debate, upon his appointment Tite worked tirelessly to improve relations with the local media and is still held in huge regard.

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“I think it is very normal for Tite change his behaviour, to be a little more closed off,” says Tino Marcos of Rede Globo.

“He is, in my opinion, facing the most difficult opponent because of how strong Germany are, and because of the psychological component of this match. 

“He is finalising his World Cup squad, this is only his fifth game in Europe, only the fourth against a European team, and I think they must be very turbulent times emotionally for any professional.”

The Selecao, Tite maintains, are still deeply engrossed in the ongoing ‘process’ ahead of Russia 2018.

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"I'm a normal human being and i react in a natural way to all these expectations. I'm not superman," Tite told Brasil Global Tour at a press conference on Monday. 

"I do have high expectations, but I am not thinking about the World Cup just yet. it's about preparing our team, being focused on training, focused on strategy, our quality, and on how we play, on how to impose the way we play."

And this week’s clash with Germany will play a vital role in their emotional preparation.

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"This has a huge psychological meaning - no one needs to fool themselves about that," Tite told German magazine Kicker.

"The 7-1 from the World Cup is like a ghost. It's present, people still talk about it but, the more you talk about it, the less this 'ghost' disappears."

Brazil meet Germany on Tuesday at the Olympiastadion Berlin on the Brasil Global Tour for what will be the first match between the two sides since World Cup 2014.

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