PRESSURE POINT BRAZIL manager Tite has revealed why star player Neymar did not take a penalty in the shootout against Croatia.
The South American side were knocked out of the World Cup after penalties against the Europeans.
Neymar did not take a spot kick in Brazil’s defeat to Croatia
Brazil boss Tite admitted that Neymar would have taken the fifth penalty
The game ended goalless after 90 minutes before Neymar and Bruno Petkovic’s extra-time strikes meant the game had to be decided by spot kicks.
Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic kept out Rodrygo’s effort, and then Marquinhos missed his side’s fourth penalty.
However, as Croatia went perfectly with four out of four, it meant that there would be no need for a fifth penalty.
Fans believed that Neymar was queued up to take his side’s next penalty but was denied the opportunity after the damming miss.
Tite confirmed this theory after the game as he explained that he wanted the “better” player to take the penalty with “more pressure”.
After the game, he said: “Neymar would take the fifth and decisive penalty, which puts more pressure on the better player.”
The Brazil manager also confirmed that he would be stepping down from the role.
He added: “It was a painful defeat, but I’m at peace with myself. It’s the end of the cycle.”
The 61-year-old had admitted that he planned to leave the job after the tournament in February.
Croatia, however, have to plan for another World Cup semi-final, having reached the final four years ago in Russia.
They will face either Argentina or the Netherlands for a spot in the final.