TERESÓPOLIS, Brazil: Brazil’s Olympic coach admitted on Wednesday that he was relying on Barcelona star forward Neymar to shoot the hosts to a first Games gold in Rio next month.
Current under-20s coach Rogerio Micale has been charged with rejuvenating Brazilian football in Rio after Dunga was fired following Brazil’s shock first-round exit from the Copa America.
“I want to be dependent on Neymar,” he said, as the squad went through its first training session for the Rio Games.
“What coach in the world would not want a Neymar in his team? They say it’s not good to be dependent on Neymar, but I do not agree: I would always have a Neymar in my team.”
Micale’s stance is in stark contrast against Dunga’s, who had tried to suggest the Brazilian side was not a one-man team.
The Games start on August 5.
But Brazil’s national football coach warned against over-pressuring Neymar, just a day after the Olympic coach said he was glad to depend heavily on the star forward.
“It’s inhuman to put all the responsibility on one person. The responsibility should be on the trainer and on the other team members and, when the time comes, on the one who has the quality to take responsibility,” national coach Tite told journalists.
Tite pointed to the victorious Portuguese team in the Euro championship, which defeated France in the finals despite losing its star Cristiano Ronaldo early on to an injury.
Meanwhile, Argentina recently failed to beat Chile despite Messi’s presence, Tite said.
On Tuesday, however, Brazil’s Olympic coach Rogerio Micale embraced the idea of leaning on Neymar, saying “I want to be dependent on Neymar.”
Brazil has struggled recently to escape accusations of being a one-man team with little threat beyond its Barcelona star.