Tite's calming influence the key to Brazil's progression
Tite's calming influence on Brazil has never been clearer. In charge of a team that in years past has sparkled only to later melt down, most notably four years ago in Belo Horizonte, the former Corinthians coach is as measured and assured as they come and it transmits to his players.
There are those who urge him to make his Brazil side more aggressive, more attacking; there are those who think they should be beating smaller sides by bigger margins, but that is not Tite's way and that is not what he wants.
He wants game-by-game improvement, which we have seen during this tournament, and he wants people to live in the real world rather than illusions of Brazil that linger from generations gone by.
As he told reporters: "Your situation, like gamblers, is not our situation. Ours is looking to grow.
"We don't live by expectations, we live by reality. We live by a team that mentally deals with the pressure, is balanced, that has replacement parts for important moments.
"You have to have a strong team. If the players didn't have all this preparation then we'd surely not see this kind of performance."
A coach characterised by restraint and method, Tite did nonetheless take the minor risk of naming his team before today's clash with Mexico.
Filipe Luis, who replaced Marcelo after the Real Madrid defender experienced back spasms against Serbia, will start in place of the Real Madrid left-back.
Otherwise, it is the same team that looked solid yet creative against the Serbs in confirming their place as group winners and securing this tie with the Mexicans, with the hope that the better displays since the draw with Switzerland can continue and propel them into the quarter-finals.
"I hope the team maintains the standard of the two previous games, even more," added Tito.
"We want to reproduce the physical, tactical, technical, emotional, and type of play like in the last match."
Tite was impressed with how Neymar performed against the Serbians as his No 10 continues his recovery from foot surgery.
"He played very, very well against Serbia. He did everything we asked tactically, defending the full-back, and looked for goal, to dribble and run with the ball."
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio described Brazil as the best team in the world, but insists his players will attack, despite the tricky draw.
"We won't sit back and wait, Brazil's attackers are too good for that to be the right plan," said the Colombian. "We will stick to our idea of having at least four or five attacking players."
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