Neymar remains a talisman for Brazil but head coach Tite does not fear playing without the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

Tite discussed the lavishly gifted yet divisive forward in an interview with France Football.

He believes Neymar, who moved to PSG from Barcelona in a world record move in August 2017, played the best football of his career at Camp Nou.

The 28-year-old has frequently been linked with a return to Barcelona after a pair of seasons where injuries frustrated his hopes of bringing Champions League glory to the French capital.

"Neymar is essential, but not irreplaceable," Tite said. "In each match, I ask myself the same question: how to get the best out of him, build and balance the team around him? 

"The position where I found him performing best at a club, as in the national team, was when he played in Barcelona, ​​on the left side to come [inside]. 

"In other words, starting from one side, where he worked with the environment, then using his perception of the game, his speed of reflection and execution, his capacity for improvisation, and adding his speed to it. 

"The best Neymar I saw playing was during this period. The level of play he reached then was exceptional and only [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo were above. I have never seen [Eden] Hazard, [Antoine] Griezmann or [Paul] Pogba play at this level."

Brazil emphatically showed there is life without Neymar as they claimed Copa America glory on home soil last year, despite their star man missing the tournament with an ankle injury.

Tite's side closed out a 3-1 win over Peru in the final – a victory Tite felt served to exorcise any demons remaining from their humiliating 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany as World Cup hosts in 2014.

"Winning the Copa America, at home in Brazil, was a major challenge," he said. "Especially for the players who had experienced the affront of 2014 as closely as possible - Dani Alves, Fernandinho, Thiago Silva.

"This title was all the more important since we had lost Neymar to injury just a few days before the start of the tournament. The pressure and the expectation of the supporters was considerable. Winning was, therefore, the only option available to us. 

"When you have to face Argentina with Messi, Uruguay with [Edinson] Cavani and [Luis] Suarez, or Colombia with James (Rodriguez), his absence necessarily creates more emotional instability. 

"Neymar reassures you, because he brings unpredictability to your game. Because he will offer you an individual or collective solution that the others do not have. So winning without him and resisting this pressure made the group aware of its value, yes."

Tite rejected criticism of his decision to play Rodrygo Goes for just two minutes in Brazil's 3-0 win over South Korea on Tuesday.

The Brazil coach said on Monday he would be patient with the teenage forward, who has made an impressive start to life at Real Madrid.

Rodrygo has scored twice in four LaLiga appearances for Madrid and notched a hat-trick in their 6-0 Champions League demolition of Galatasaray this month.

The 18-year-old got 19 minutes on his debut in the 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday and received even less playing time in Abu Dhabi.

"It's one thing to throw Rodrygo into a system that's already structured, like Real's. It's another thing to put him in a team that is being reassembled, even if he was doing the same job in the same position," said Tite.

"It was so hard to organise for the team for today and they responded well. They were close to scoring a fourth and a fifth.

"It was a chance for Fabinho, Renan Lodi and Militao. They earned the chance and asserted themselves. Could it have been Rodrygo? Yes, but I preserved the continuity and the good moment of the team in the game."

Brazil can feel the confidence Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has brought to the squad, according to coach Tite.

Fabinho made his 11th appearance for Brazil off the bench in a 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday, having made an impressive start to the Premier League season.

Tite said the 26-year-old had added plenty to Brazil, who are on a five-match winless run ahead of facing South Korea on Tuesday.

"Fabinho has built a positive growing. All the times he played, he played very well," he told a news conference.

"And he brings confidence from his club to the Brazil national squad. In a natural way, and we can feel it. It's not that you can only see it, you can feel it.

"Fabinho is playing his normal football in a role that he also has at Liverpool."

Brazil are winless since lifting the Copa America trophy in July, putting some pressure on Tite at the helm.

Tite was criticised by Rivaldo after the loss to Argentina, the Brazil great unhappy with the decision to give Lucas Paqueta – who was substituted at half-time – the number 10 shirt.

However, Tite would not be drawn into firing back at Rivaldo, instead speaking of his respect for the former Barcelona star.

"I respect opinions, I don't give opinions on them. I learnt to respect them," he said.

"And I also have a very clear opinion on Rivaldo. He was a great player and the image that comes to me is of him controlling the ball on the chest and scoring in Barcelona. The most beautiful thing in this world. That's my opinion."

Brazil head coach Tite said he was told to shut up by Argentina captain Lionel Messi in the friendly clash between the South American rivals.

Messi returned from a three-month international ban to lead Argentina past Brazil 1-0 thanks to his 13th-minute goal in Riyadh on Friday.

Argentina star Messi missed Argentina's previous four matches due to a suspension for accusing CONMEBOL of favouring hosts Brazil – who won their semi-final meeting – at the Copa America and he was in the thick of the action against Tite's Selecao.

Messi and Tite exchanged words in the opening half, with the Barcelona superstar seen putting his fingers to his lips as the Brazil boss complained to the referee.

"I complained because he [Messi] should have been shown a yellow card and he told me to shut my mouth and I told him to shut his mouth," Tite said. "And that was it."

Tite added: "I don't want to answer anymore on it. You need a strong referee because he'll swallow you… It should have been a card, I was right to complain."

Messi's goal condemned Brazil – who have struggled since lifting the Copa America trophy – to their fifth consecutive match without victory.

Tite accepted Brazil were under pressure after their winless run continued with a 1-0 loss to rivals Argentina in a friendly on Friday.

Lionel Messi scored the game's only goal on his return to the Argentina team in Riyadh, converting a rebound after Alisson saved his penalty in the 13th minute.

Gabriel Jesus had earlier put a penalty wide for Brazil, who are winless in five games since lifting the Copa America in July.

Tite said there was pressure on Brazil – who face South Korea in another friendly on Tuesday – amid their poor run of results.

"There is a need for the result, yes. There are moments of pressure and this is one," Tite told a news conference.

"The way we are going to look is carefully, but the need for the result occurs, even at a time of preparation."

Brazil were without the injured Neymar, and they are feeling the absence of the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Tite's side have scored just four goals in their past five games and the coach lamented Brazil's inability to take their chances.

"Translating opportunities into goals is key, and I also speak of the penalty," he said.

Teenage Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Goes has been included in Brazil's squad for the first time ahead of next month's friendlies with Argentina and South Korea.

The 18-year-old made his first competitive start for Madrid in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win against Galatasaray, having also made a couple of substitute appearances in LaLiga this season.

Rodrygo is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by fellow newcomer Douglas Luiz, who has performed well in the Premier League since joining Aston Villa from Manchester City in July.

There is no place for fellow Madrid players Vinicius Junior and Marcelo, while injured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar also misses out, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson returns to the squad after recovering from a calf injury.

Brazil take on South American rivals Argentina in Saudi Arabia in three weeks and then travel to Abu Dhabi for a friendly with South Korea.

The Copa America holders enter the match without a win in their past four outings - all friendlies - and Tite is looking for an improvement as preparations continue for next year's World Cup qualifiers.

"I was not satisfied with our performances and results," he said at a news conference on Friday.

"But we have played in three competitive competitions. In the first, we formatted the team. The second, we reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In the Copa America, we won the title.

"Now we are at a new stage of the preparations, preparing for the qualifiers."

Brazil squad in full:

Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Emerson (Real Betis), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich); David Neres (Ajax), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea).

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