DOHA, Qatar — Brazil coach Tite has hit back at criticism of his team’s dancing goal celebrations during the 4-1 victory over South Korea in the World Cup round of 16.
Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane was among the pundits to brand the dancing “disrespectful” as Brazil comfortably booked their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, where they play Croatia on Friday.
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But Tite said his players will continue to do it before blasting suggestions the celebrations showed a lack of respect to South Korea.
“I will not make comments to those who do not know Brazilian history and Brazilian culture the way each and every one of us is, I leave that noise aside,” Tite told a news conference on Thursday.
“I respect the culture, the way I am and the way this national team is. Lots of other kids will dance because it is Brazilian culture when a goal is scored.
“It is not being disrespectful, that is [us] and how we do things… as a culture and [it] will help the education of children in school. We will continue doing things in our manner.”
Cameras caught Tite joining in his team’s celebrations during the victory over South Korea, with the 61-year-old following Richarlison’s “pigeon dance” on the touchline.
The clip has gone viral in Brazil but Tite insisted he has good reason to dance with his players.
“I think it is a connection that I have with a younger generation,” Tite added. “I am 61 years old and I work with players who are 21, 22. They could be my grandchildren. If I have to dance to connect with them, I will continue dancing.”
Brazil faces Croatia in the quarterfinals at Education City on Friday with a place in the last four against Argentina or the Netherlands at stake.
Croatia captain Luka Modric will line up against Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Junior and the midfielder revealed he will pass on tips about how to stop the winger.
“We have a difficult task to stop him but I will give some advice to my teammates,” Modric said.
“If I can help them to give tips here or there to make his job more difficult, I will do that. I will give them advice. We are here fighting for our countries and that’s it.”