Rio de Janeiro, Sep 7 (IANS) Neymar will be deployed in an attacking playmaking role for Brazil at this year’s World Cup as the five-time world champions seek to capitalise on his scintillating form for Paris Saint-Germain.
The 30-year-old has scored nine goals and provided seven assists in eight games across all competitions for PSG this season as he relishes the freedom of a No. 10 role behind Kylian Mbappe.
And while it is a position to which he has grown accustomed since his 2017 move to PSG from Barcelona, Neymar has until now continued to play as a left-sided winger for Brazil, as he did during his four seasons at the Camp Nou, reports Xinhua.
“Neymar’s creative capacity is impressive,” Tite said in an interview broadcast on Brazilian television on Tuesday. “When he’s at his best physical and technical level, he’s sharp, he has very quick perceptions and he’s able to elude tackles.”
“Neymar’s role now is in that (inside) pocket just to the left, where he has greater space to construct, utilise his movement and create. Out wide is no longer for him. That was in 2014 and 2018. It’s not for the current version of Neymar.”
Brazil have been drawn in the same group as Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon for the World Cup, to be played in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.
Tite, who has said he will step down as manager after the tournament, denied reports that he had promised a place in the squad to 39-year-old right-back Dani Alves.
Alves, who joined Mexico’s UNAM Pumas in July after parting ways with Barcelona, has made public his desire to go to Qatar after missing the last World Cup in Russia because of a knee injury.
“There is no commitment to select him or anyone else,” Tite said. “We have around 50 players with whom we maintain a very close relationship. We encourage and guide them to be in the best possible condition. There is fair competition for places and the bar has been set high.”