His celebration on the touchline angered Roy Keane and divided opinion on whether Brazil had disrespected their opponents, but Tite has angrily made it clear his “grandad” dancing will continue at the World Cup.
At 61, Tite has a touch of Sir Alex Ferguson about him in the way he connects with younger players, although the former Manchester United manager never joined in with his players’ elaborate celebrations. He may have given the hairdryer treatment if several dance routines were attempted after a goal.
But after joining in with his players during the last-16 win over South Korea, Tite has defended his squad and insists it is part of their South American culture to celebrate with a dance and will inspire children in Brazil watching them.
“It’s a connection with the younger generation. I am 61 and working with players 21 or 22 who could be my grandchildren and I have to have that connection with them,” he said. “If I have to dance to connect to my players I will continue dancing.
“This is not my team, this is the Brazilian team and I’m just the head coach. When we paint a painting, the entire painting is the players and we just contribute to the painting. I will not make comment on those who do not understand Brazil, our history and our culture.
“I respect my culture and the way I am. Also, in terms of education, lots of kids will dance because that’s Brazilian culture and that’s not disrespectful. We will continue doing things in our manner.”
Brazilian coach Tite with the mooooooves 🕺
Doesn't impress Ally McCoist though 😆 pic.twitter.com/7IOc591ffY
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 5, 2022
Tite’s dancing stars face Croatia next and their head coach Zlatko Dalić admits his players would not be celebrating in the manner of their opponents, although it has not upset him as much as England fans singing Football’s Coming Home at the last World Cup.
“They have their own way, they celebrate how they know, they are festive, in unity, they demonstrate their character and tradition and that’s their right,” he said. “Respect or disrespect, I cannot say. I would not like to see my players celebrate like that but it’s a different culture and they like to dance. It’s in their culture and it’s nice.”
The huge pressure Brazil are under to deliver could be felt at Qatar National Convention Centre when Tite spoke. One journalist, Fernando Fernandes from Band Radios, was applauded by his colleagues for telling full-back Danilo that contrary to what he may think, the media were behind the team.
They are also critical when it does not go to plan, such as the dead-rubber defeat to Cameroon. Danilo, the former Manchester City full-back, has been in the firing line himself from fans who did not believe he deserved a place in the team.
“Over the years, I understood what fans were asking from me,” he said. “I understood they prefer more offensive full-backs and over years I’ve been adapting through the teams and coaches with whom I worked and saw the need to adapt.
“I’ve been trying to develop the capacity to focus on what matters and leave aside personal issues. It is important to have their affection, we need to please them, that’s our job.”
When is Croatia vs Brazil?
The Croatia vs Brazil will be the first of four quarter-finals and takes place on Friday, December 9.
What time is kick-off?
The game will kick off at 3pm GMT (6pm local time and 10am EST).
What TV channel is it on?
The match will be shown lives on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer. Telegraph Sport will also be running a live blog on the game – you can bookmark this page now and return on Friday to follow along with our coverage.
How have Croatia fared so far?
Croatia qualified from Group F in second place behind Morocco, having taken five points from their three games. They had 0-0 draws against Morocco and Belgium either side of a 4-1 win over Canada. Their last 16 clash against Japan finished 1-1, with the Croats winning the penalty shoot-out 3-1.
How have Brazil got on so far?
Brazil topped Group G with a game to spare, after beating Serbia 2-0 and Switzerland 1-0. A much-changed side were beaten 1-0 by Cameroon in their final group match, which was their first loss to an African side. They then beat South Korea 4-1 in the Round of 16, with the Brazil goals coming in the first half.
Croatia vs Brazil results history
Croatia and Brazil have played each other four times, three of which have been won by Brazil, with the other being a draw. Two of those matches have taken place at the World Cup. The first was a 1-0 Brazil win in the group stage of the 2006 tournament. The sides next met in the opening game of the the 2014 World Cup, with Neymar bagging two of the goals in a 3-1 win. Their most recent meeting was a friendly in 2018, which finished 2-0 to Brazil.
What is Croatia's World Cup record?
Croatia's finished third in their first ever World Cup in 1998, losing to hosts and eventual winners France in the semi-final. They didn't make it out of the group stage until four years ago, but qualified for every tournament other than the 2010 edition. Their best performance was in 2018, where they finished as runners-up, losing 4-2 to France in the final and beating England 2-1 in the semi-final.
What is Brazil World Cup record?
The best team in the history of the competition, having won it five times and finishing second, third and fourth twice each. They won three out of four tournaments between 1958 and 1970, and were winners in 1994 and 2002, finishing second in 1998. They were humbled on home soil in 2014, losing 7-1 to Germany in the semi-finals. Last time out, they reached the quarter-finals, losing 2-1 to Belgium.
Brazil to win: 4/11
Croatia to win: 8/1