Tite: Brazil’s no.1 ranking means nothing without a World Cup title

Tite Brasil convocação CBF 10 08 17Pedro Martins / MoWA Press

Brazil coach Tite has played down his side’s rise to the top of the FIFA world rankings, insisting it will mean nothing without success at next year’s World Cup.

The former Corinthians boss has led the five-time world champions to eight consecutive victories since his arrival, ensuring the Selecao became the first country to book their place in Russia.

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And he admitted on Thursday that he wasn’t even aware that his side had knocked reigning world champions Germany off the top of the list.

“I care so little that I didn’t even know that,” he revealed.

“But it is good to know that we have shown consistency and that we're still working hard. The pressure is on me to make a team play well. 

“The message to all Brazilians is that talent alone does not win the World Cup, it’s about working hard.”

Luan Gremio Atletico-PR Copa do Brasil 28062017Lucas Uebel/Grêmio FBPA

This week, Tite named his latest squad, which will face Ecuador in Colombia as World Cup qualifying resumes this month.

Gremio forward Luan, who appeared set to join Spartak Moscow in Russia and is a target for the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, was among a few new faces.

“Luan had a fantastic Olympics and has shown a strong level consistency in his performances,” Tite said. 

“He has a lot of technical quality and is playing in the top-scoring team in Brazil. He is their star player there.”

Tite was expected to use his four remaining qualifiers to experiment, but made just five changes to his last competitive squad after transforming his group for June’s Brasil Global Tour dates with Argentina and Australia in June.

Tite players Brazil training 09112016

But despite Luan the only new arrival, Tite insists his squad is far from final. 

"I cannot close the door to the likes of Douglas Luiz [of Manchester City], Richarlison [of Watford], or Arthur [of Gremio],” he said. 

“I also cannot forget about Diego Souza, Gil, Felipe, Diego, Douglas Costa, Rodriguinho ... All these players of a very high level.”

Brazil host Ecuador in Porto Alegre on August 31 before travelling to Barranquilla to face Colombia on September 5.