By Bariyo Brian Tumuramye
Brazil coach Tite has praised the performance of Neymar and was pleased with Roberto Firmino’s contribution in the 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia.
Liverpool forward Firmino scored twice as Brazil opened their World Cup qualifying campaign in impressive fashion despite having not played an international fixture in nearly 12 months.
Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho also scored, with Bolivia not helping their cause with an own goal in the rout in Sao Paulo.
Neymar, who has 61 goals in his 102 cups, did not find the net but was very influential throughout, the Paris Saint-Germain forward showing no signs of the back problem that had bothered him during the build-up to the game.
“We seek knowledge, strategies, [to play] with harmony,” Tite said after the resounding victory.
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“Neymar was a looser, more central, with freedom of movement, as the opponent’s marking is more demanding.
“Coutinho played inside, with Firmino not far behind. He [Firmino] did not seek the ball so much, he waited for it more.
“He scored two and could have had two more. As the game requires, we may not change the function of the team, but adapt it to suit.”
Brazil is next in action on Tuesday when they are away to Peru.
Tite hopes his side can be just as clinical on their travels in what will be a repeat of the 2019 Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro, a game the Selecao won 3-1 to lift the trophy.
“It is a feature to maintain possession of the ball. But there is no use getting the ball and finishing little,” the Brazil boss added in his press conference.
Brazil is chasing a sixth World Cup trophy, having not lifted the crown since defeating Germany 2-0 thanks to a couple of Ronaldo goals in the final of the 2002 showpiece.
They reached the semi-finals in the home edition of their tournament in 2014 before being infamously hammered by the Germany side that eventually won the competition, while four years later they found Belgium too strong in the quarter-finals, with an own goal and a Kevin De Bruyne strike sending them spinning out in Russia.