Sao Paulo, Nov 10 (EFE).- Brazilian national team coach Tite had nothing but praise Wednesday for Colombia’s national side on the eve of a World Cup qualifier here.
He pointed out that Colombia reached the quarterfinals in the 2014 World Cup and got as far as the round of 16 in Russia four years later before being eliminated by England in a match decided on penalties.
Tite also noted that Colombia is the only team so far to deny points to the Canarinha in the 2022 qualifying round, referring to last month’s 0-0 draw in Barranquilla.
The current contingent of Colombian players “is a strong generation” who play “quality football” marked both by technical excellence and competitive spirit, the Brazil coach said of the team his men will face Thursday in Sao Paulo.
“We will confront the match as it were the final phase of a World Cup,” Tite told a press conference Wednesday morning.
Turning to his own squad, the coach said that it will take time for forward Vinicius Jr. to make himself as central a figure with the national team as he has become for Real Madrid.
Tite said that it was his task “to create a receptive environment” for Vini to build on the progress he has demonstrated this season in LaLiga.
Later Wednesday during a training session at the Corinthians facility in Sao Paulo, Tite selected a starting 11 for the Colombia match led by Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha.
The biggest change from the 4-1 rout of Uruguay will be in goal, with Liverpool’s Alisson Becker starting in place Manchester City’s Ederson.
Leading the South American qualifiers with 31 points, Brazil can assure themselves of a berth in the 2022 World Cup if they beat Colombia and Uruguay fail to defeat Argentina on Friday.
Colombia are fourth in the standings with 16 points. EFE