Brazil’s relatively straightforward passage to the last 16 has created optimism among fans betting on a sixth World Cup title but coach Tite is using his characteristic restraint to prevent over-confidence among his players.
With champions Germany out, Argentina only scraping through, and Spain in turmoil, many see Brazil as the clear favorites to lift the World Cup in Moscow on July 15. But moments after they beat Serbia 2-0 to secure a quarterfinal date with Mexico, the wily coach was once again playing down expectations.
“Expectations? We don’t live by expectations, we live by reality,” Tite said. “[We live by] a team that mentally deals with the pressure, is balanced, that has replacement parts for important moments.”
“You have to have a strong team. If the players didn’t have all this preparation then we’d surely not see this kind of performance.”