National team coach Tite has criticised the Brazilian Football Confederation for not sticking to Fifa’s international dates and said he was sorry at having to take players away from important league and cup campaigns back in Brazil.
“When the national team plays there shouldn’t be club games going on,” Tite told reporters on the eve of Thursday’s friendly against Senegal in Singapore.
“I choose my players and I do it with a heavy heart.”
Tite has picked eight home-based players in the squad to face Senegal and Nigeria, who they play on Sunday also in Singapore, and their call-up means more than tiring journeys.
League leaders Flamengo will have to cope without central defender Rodrigo Caio and striker Gabriel Barbosa for at least two league games and Palmeiras, who are five points behind them in second place, will be without goalkeeper Weverton for Wednesday’s game against third-placed Santos.
Flamengo and Gremio, who have Everton and Matheus Henrique in the Brazil squad, will get their players back only a few days before their Copa Libertadores semi-final second leg in Rio on Oct 23. The first leg ended in one all draw at the Arena de Gremio.
The normally easy-going Tite also criticised Pitch, the company that runs Brazil’s friendly schedule. With the grass in Singapore’s National Stadium not in the best shape, organisers stopped the players from training there ahead of the game.
Tite confirmed that Neymar will win his 100th cap playing alongside Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus.
The Copa America champions are coming off a 1-0 loss to Peru, only their third defeat since Tite took over in 2016.