Sports / Soccer

Brazil must show maturity without Neymar, says coach

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-11 14:09
Brazil must show maturity without Neymar, says coach

Brazil's Neymar gets injured during match between Brazil and Bolivia in the World Cup 2018 Qualifier, Oct 6, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

MERIDA, Venezuela -- Brazil coach Tite has urged his team to "show maturity" against Venezuela on Tuesday in the absence of Neymar.

The Barcelona forward is suspended for the World Cup qualifier in the Andean city of Merida and Tite said other senior players need to step up.

"We need to show maturity as a group," the manager told a news conference on Monday. "I don't think we are dependent on Neymar. Argentina is not only about Messi. The individuals will only shine if everybody in the team works for each other.

"Not having our best player means we have to be mature. There are a number of players who have the quality to play well."

Neymar's absence has meant Philippe Coutinho will be deployed on the left midfield, where he plays for Liverpool, while Chelsea's Willian will start on the right.

Brazil is currently second in the South American zone qualifying standings, one point behind Uruguay.

The top four teams at the end of the two-year qualifying campaign will earn automatic berths at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The fifth-ranked side will meet the Oceania champion in an inter-continental playoff.


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