Brazil coach Tite says the secret to Neymar’s international rebirth has been reducing the side’s dependence on the PSG star.
‘Neymardependencia’ had become a buzz word under former coach Dunga, with his side facing intense criticism that Neymar was their sole match-winner.
The former Barcelona man cut an increasingly frustrated figure throughout his two-year reign and saw more cards than any other Brazil player during that period.
“[I’ve got the best from Neymar] by not making him fully responsible for the situation and by not putting him at loggerheads with responsibility either,” Tite told Fifa.com.
“I spoke to the players and allocated an area of responsibility to each of them. When you have one of the top three players in the world, it’s very easy just to leave the responsibility up to them.
“The fact is, though, each of us are all responsible to some extent for what happens. And that’s where the individual side of things and creative talent come in. I’ve made this an essential part of teamwork. I haven’t left it to one individual.”
Neymar was head and shoulders above his colleagues in the scoring charts under Dunga, hitting 11 goals with the next best (Coutinho) on four. Under Tite, Gabriel Jesus leads the way with eight, Neymar has seven, Paulinho has six and Coutinho four.
Tite, who publicly leapt to Neymar’s defence in France last week amidst media criticism of the player’s reported conduct at PSG, also spoke glowingly of his character.
“On a personal level, he has a big heart,” Tite said.
“He’s a good kid. He has a supportive and caring side and not many people know that.”