'We had beautiful moments' - Neymar sends emotional goodbye message to Brazil coach Tite after World Cup exit
- Tipped for glory in Qatar
- Beaten by Croatia
- Tite has now quit
WHAT HAPPENED? While things had been going so well for Tite and his team – after all, they danced their way past South Korea in the last 16 – things quickly turned sour for the Selecao. Indeed, they came unstuck in the next round, losing on penalties to Croatia and their manager subsequently stepped down.
WHAT THEY SAID: Neymar has now thanked Tite in an emotional open letter shared on Instagram.
He said: "Before we met in person, we played a lot against and can I tell you? I thought you were really annoying! Because you put together a team to tag me, you would do everything to beat me and you still spoke ill of me. But destiny is funny, huh?
"I knew you as a coach and I already knew you were very good but as a person you are MUCH BETTER! You met me and you know who I am and that's what matters to me....
"I come here to openly thank you for everything, all the teachings you've given us... and there were so many. You will always be one of the best coaches I’ve ever had or will have, I will always hype you up."
AND WHAT'S MORE: The PSG superstar also wrote about how he felt Tite had deserved to win the World Cup.
"We had beautiful moments but we also had moments that hurt us a lot and the latter will hurt us for a long time. You deserved to be crowned with this cup," he added. "We all deserved it for everything we did and for everything we gave up to try to achieve our biggest dream. But God didn't want it that way, patience. God has given us EVERYTHING!
"Thank you professor Tite, for all the learnings.. and if there is a phrase that I will never forget is "MENTALLY STRONG" and we will have to be VERY at this moment! A big hug and THANK YOU."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While the duo failed to win the World Cup together, they did at least taste international success when they lifted the Copa America in 2019. With Neymar now 30 years old, though, this was his last chance to win football's biggest prize while still in his prime. And he may even retire from the international scene altogether.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR BRAZIL? It remains to be seen as to who will be Neymar's next international manager, though Pep Guardiola is said to have recently turned down an approach.