Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Neymar not fully fit for Brazil's World Cup opener, says Tite

Neymar not fully fit for Brazil's World Cup opener, says Tite

Mexico's win came on the back of hacing played played 68 games since 2015, the most by any of the 32 teams at the tournament.

The five-time world champions took a deserved lead midway through the first half in the Group E game when Coutinho's irresistible long-distance shot cannoned in off the far post, but Tite's side, who had looked so impressive in the tournament build-up, did not build on their advantage.

"At this stage of a World Cup you have to take advantage of a goal and see that your opponents are taking risks and you need to have faster transitions.

And not everyone (in Brazil) likes me", Tite said, chuckling.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic described the incident against Miranda as an "ordinary challenge". "We got a draw but this is only the beginning for us". They are working well in the transition from the attack in defence, it's very fast now.

Brazil meet Switzerland in the newly built 45,000 Rostov Arena in Sunday's evening game but before that Germany play Mexico in a mouthwatering tie in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, where they will be hoping to return for the final on July 15.

"Until we scored the goal there was a lot of pressure. But anxiety hit us hard".

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The Swiss are sixth in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings, four places behind Brazil, and they won nine of their 10 qualifying matches.

"I'm not surprised with the result", the Bosnian said.

"I don't think about that".

"Against a hard and strong opponent you need to be realistic and sometimes you play passes without thinking too much but I think the team has shown great determination and true spirit".

The Paris St-Germain forward suffered a fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle in February, and although Tite believes the player is in "good enough [condition] to play very well" in Russian Federation, he admitted he was still not fully over the injury.

"Tite has found a way to put the team together, he found a way to create this harmony with the players".

Costa Rica made a surprising run to the quarterfinals in 2014, and then played to a scoreless draw against the Netherlands before the Dutch advanced on penalties. "We were not blocking enough".

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