‘We do not like hearing EVIL lies’: Brazil manager Tite defends his decision to select Gabriel Jesus
The name of Gabriel Jesús was put on the agenda and, in an instant, the mood of the coach of Brazil, Tite, changed. He thanked the reporter for asking him and took the opportunity to speak.
In the days that followed a 1-0 loss to Cameroon, one that caused Brazilians to start worrying about his potential to rule the world, a story emerged in South America that Tite had played the Arsenal striker at Lusail. Stadium on Friday aware that he had a knee problem.
Jesús was one of nine changes, but the damage he sustained during the game was so significant that it is now feared he could be out for up to three months.
Brazil coach Tite sensibly responded to questions about striker Gabriel Jesus
Jesús (blue) was injured in Brazil’s last defeat in the group stage of the World Cup against Cameroon
The Brazil and Arsenal striker (right) could now be sidelined for up to three months.
The £45m transfer, so important to Mikel Arteta’s side, remains in Qatar and Brazil remains in contact with Arsenal.
It is too early to say if he will require surgery, but what is certain is that his World Cup is over and he will not be involved when Arsenal, who traveled to Dubai for a training camp with a team that does not include Ben. White, resume the Premier League campaign on Boxing Day.
Without Jesus, Eddie Nketiah is the only recognized number 9 in Arsenal’s squad and a long-term injury to Jesus could force a rethink of his transfer plans next month. Attention had turned to adding a winger, and possibly a central midfielder, to his team.
The idea that Tite had selected Jesus while carrying a problem infuriated the Brazil coach.
As he began to speak, he stuck his finger into the desk, directing his fury at the source of a story he claimed was a complete fabrication. “We don’t like to hear lies, evil lies,” thundered Tite, whose side faces South Korea on Monday night.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (left) will be without star forward Jesus, while Tite faced questions about the Brazilian’s injury.
We don’t have time for that. Does it mean that we are people who play for victory at the risk of our players? I don’t get it. The liars, the haters, should go and do something else.
‘They should stop spreading these fake news. Arsenal have a great medical department. We have a great medical department. We are responsible people and we take great responsibility with the health of our players. We never, ever take risks.
It’s a shame what happened to Gabriel. We feel very sorry for him. I saw him talking to Neymar, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva about what happened. He’s in pain because he can’t play, but we’re trying to take it away from him in an emotional sense by supporting him.”
Tite revealed that Jesus will now miss the remainder of the World Cup
Thiago Silva, also referring to left-back Alex Telles, another who suffered a knee injury, said: ‘It was very painful to see our teammates injured. It’s sad not being able to play with them. But we needed to pursue our objectives.’
Next to Tite sat his assistant César Sampaio, who explained that Tite visited Arsenal before the World Cup and stressed that “at no time was anything mentioned” about Jesús’s injury.
“Any injury is difficult in a player’s career,” added Sampaio: “But we would never play with his health.”
Still, there was something of a relief that Neymar’s fitness has improved and he now looks likely to start at Stadium 974. Brazil’s medical team have been working day and night on the Paris Saint-Germain superstar to prepare him.
“I do not share any information that is not true,” Tite said. ‘When I don’t want to say something, I don’t answer the question.
‘So I’ll say this: he’ll practice and if he’s good, he’ll play. But we do not put anyone’s health at risk. It all depends on the medical department.
Tite was certainly emotional and particularly when asked about Pelé’s condition, amid reports that the Brazil legend’s health problem had become significantly more serious and he was now receiving palliative care.
Jesus (left) will head to the treatment room while Brazilian star Neymar (right) returns to face South Korea.
“I apologize, I should have started this press conference talking about Pele,” Tite said.
‘Please excuse me to give me my answer, as this is a very emotional moment.
The only time in my life that I have been shaking when I met someone was when I met Pelé.
“It was before the 2018 World Cup, we were with all the other coaches. Then they told me I could go see Pelé and I started shaking, my pulse raced. I was going to have the opportunity to meet Pelé! That honor!
‘Pele is the human representation of us.
“It is difficult for us today and his situation is something that we all feel. This is a difficult time.