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World Cup focus for Brazil's pragmatic new coach

World Cup focus for Brazil's pragmatic new coach

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 21, 2016

Adenor Leonardo Bachi, better known as Tite, is the new head coach of the Brazilian national team. His appointment was officially confirmed by the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) on Monday 20 June, when he was unveiled at a press conference led by CBF President Marco Polo Del Nero.

"I've been given the nod to become the national team coach, and as I see it, the best way I can contribute is by applying the principles that have guided my life and career up to this point: transparency, democratisation, excellence and modernity," Tite said after being presented with an Auriverdes shirt by Del Nero. "We want the national team to grow and evolve. This is a very big responsibility." 

Rumours about his appointment had been rife since the CBF relieved Dunga of his duties on Tuesday 14 June. By this past Friday, meanwhile, all that was missing was confirmation from the CBF, as Tite's mother had even spoken of her emotion at her son getting the job. 

The 56-year-old tactician feels that he is currently in the "best period" of his career and takes up the hotseat on the strength of winning a second Campeonato Brasileiro with Corinthians in 2015. Joining him in his new post will be his son Matheus Bachi and Cleber Xavier, both of whom were part of his backroom staff at Corinthians, as well as Edu, who has resigned his position as the club's Director of Football to take on a coordination role for the national team. 

Reaching Russia the priority

Tite takes the reins following Brazil's disappointing Copa America Centenario campaign, although his most pressing task is to get them back on track in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying, where they currently lie sixth, outside both the automatic qualification and play-off spots. 

"The aim is to qualify for the World Cup," he said. "Of course that is achievable and we will work hard to make it happen. Still, we have to accept that there is a risk of not making it. Not accepting that would be to start out under an illusion, but there will be changes and we hope the team can rally and achieve it." 

Given this focus, Tite will not coach the team that will compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Football Tournament, where star player Neymar will be involved. That responsibility will fall to Rogerio Micale, who was previously at the helm of the U-20s. 

"To reiterate, the priority is [World Cup] qualifying and the upcoming two qualifiers. That's what we're targeting. I need to get into the swing of that as quickly as possible. What's more, there are people who have been working with that team [the Olympic set-up] for the last year-and-a-half." 

An open-minded pragmatist  

Tite was an intelligent midfielder who enjoyed an 11-year professional career prior to hanging up his boots in 1989. Barely a year later, he ventured into the dugout for the first times, at minnows Gremio Atletico Guarany. 

Renowned for his upstanding character, rigorous professional ethics and forthright relationship with his players, he was linked with the Brazil job on several occasions in the past when the coach at the time was under pressure. However, he always refused to open talks with the CBF because he did not want to step on the incumbent's toes. 

Advocating a pragmatic style of football, he tends to build his teams from the back. Nevertheless, he has never lost sight of the importance of entertaining the fans and has rubbed shoulders with coaches representing a range of different philosophies. For example, he has shadowed the likes of Carlos Bianchi, Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti during training sessions at Boca Juniors, Arsenal and Real Madrid respectively. 

To date, his only jobs outside Brazil were in the United Arab Emirates, where he had brief stints at Al Ain in 2007 and Al-Wahda in 2010. 

Recipe for success

Tite's biggest achievements have come at Corinthians, since rejoining the Sao Paulo outfit - where he had previously spent a year - in 2010. Having taken charge with the club mired in trouble, he promptly guided them to the title in the fiercely competitive Campeonato Brasileiro in 2011. 

"If you have a group of players that only look out for themselves, that's the first step towards failure," Tite explained to following that triumph. "But playing as a team doesn't mean that players won't stand out. They understand that by all pulling together they'll create a winning team that'll give everyone a chance to shine."

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