Tite reveals why Neymar didn’t take a penalty in Brazil’s World Cup 2022 shootout defeat to Croatia

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Neymar was down to take Brazil’s fifth penalty in their shootout defeat to Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals, Tite has confirmed.

The outgoing Brazil coach decided to hold back his team’s talisman in Friday night’s clash, believing the final spot-kick to be the most “decisive” - and yet Rodrygo and Marquinhos failing to score meant Neymar never took a penalty in the 4-2 shootout defeat.

“He would have taken the fifth and decisive penalty,” Tite told reporters.

“The player who has the most quality and the mentality to score is under greater pressure.”

Brazil’s team bus was seen departing their Qatar base on Saturday morning after a sobering exit from the World Cup.

Tite has announced he will leave his role and the 61-year-old was seen in tears as he met his wife and daughter following the defeat.

“The cycle, as I had already put it, ends,” he stated.

“There are other great professionals and I'm not one for two words. Anyone who knows me knows. Now it was a whole process, before it was a recovery process.”