Rodrygo: Brazil coach Tite calls for patience with Real Madrid starlet
The Real Madrid youngster has been left out of Tite's team to face South Korea, despite the Brazil coach making several changes to the side that faced Argentina.
Real Madrid starlet Rodrygo has not been included in the Brazil starting XI for their friendly against South Korea, with head coach Tite announcing a number of changes for Tuesday’s meeting in Abu Dhabi.
The young Madrid attacker made his first appearance for the senior team in the 1-0 defeat to Argentina last Friday, coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes.
With expectation growing that Tite would hand him his first start against South Korea, the Brazil head coach has called for patience with the talented 18-year-old, who has seen his status grow exponentially at Madrid in recent weeks and became the second youngest player to net a hat-trick in the Champions League after former club legend Raul.
Tite: Rodrygo's time will come with Brazil
While Rodrygo has found himself a regular starter under Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane of late, Tite has stated the Flamengo academy graduate needs more time to adapt within the Brazil camp.
"Rodrygo has a lot of talent and he did well off the bench against Argentina, although we hadn’t planned to bring him on,” said Tite at a press-conference ahead of Tuesday’s game, responding to questions about Rodrygo’s omission.
“We have to be patient and give him time so that his training is done in the right way. And for that we have to go step by step -- wait for right time to make the right decision. His time will come with the national team and we can’t rush ahead with things.”
The Brazil head coach added: "I have to be responsible with the young players who are coming into the national team for the first time because it is a lot of responsibility. I cannot demand the same from an 18-year-old boy as a veteran… The opportunity will come for Rodrygo to be a starter because he is very talented.”
Tite starting XI for Brazil vs South Korea
Tite has made several changes to the side that faced Argentina on Saturday, where Lionel Messi's early lone goal was enough to secure victory for La Albiceleste.
Liverpool keeper Alisson remains in goal; Danilo, Marquinhos, Militão and Lodi start in defence; Fabinho replaces Casemiro and joins Arthur and Paquetá in midfield; while Gabriel Jésus, Coutinho and Richarlison start up front, with the latter two replacing Firmino and Willian.
After Friday’s defeat to their South American rivals, Brazil will be looking to end a five-game winless streak when they meet South Korea on Tuesday. Following their Copa América victory in July, La Canarinha have lost two games to Argentina (1-0) and Peru (1-0), and drawn three against Colombia (2-2), Senegal (1-1) and Nigeria (1-1).
In his press conference, Tite acknowledged the criticism for Brazil’s recent poor form, but stressed that his squad were undergoing “a time of transition and group formation, with new players and tactical variations that have to be observed.”