02:09 PM, September 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:22 PM, September 11, 2018

Tite responds to Trump’s joke

Brazil coach Tite holds up five fingers during a press conference in response to something US President Donald Trump said after Brazil's World Cup exit. Photo: AFP

The United States were successful with a joint bid alongside Canada and Mexico to co-host the 2026 World Cup. US President Donald Trump welcomed FIFA chief Gianni Infantino for awarding the 2026 World Cup to North America when the latter was at the White House.

In that meeting, Trump joked about Brazil’s World Cup exit while fielding question from a Brazilian journalist. "Soccer country… I think you had a problem recently,” he replied to the journalist with Infantino in attendance.

Brazil are currently in the USA to play a friendly against El Salvador. Coach Tite was asked for a reply to Trump’s comment from a few weeks ago and the Brazil coach held up five fingers.

“My answer to Trump is that we have five world titles. Maybe, historically he might know better,” Tite was quoted by Goal.com as saying.

Neymar was made permanent captain of the Brazil team as Tite scrapped his plans to rotate captaincy. Neymar was on target against USA and moved to 58 goals – only third behind Pele in Brazil’s all-time scorers’ list. Tite said that personal achievements were important but reiterated that Neymar may not feature for the whole game as Brazil still need to get their collective game together.

“All these records are important. I believe the athlete seeks this within the context. But also have that recognition.

“Having recognition is not a sin, growing up is no sin, being star is not a sin, have technical skills is not a sin. To evolve in what is wrong is also a process of maturing. I'm not defending anyone. I'm giving the opportunity to reinvent and grow. Just like I gave myself. All we have.

“Neymar has important and extraordinary records. And he also has a solidarity side that he will gradually show. He should only participate in a part of the game tomorrow. Why? Because we have to manage some important situations and factors. First: the Brazilian team has to play well and win. Play well and win,” he concluded.