Brazil boss Tite has admitted that Neymar, who will miss Friday’s friendly against Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium with a foot injury, “cannot be replaced”.
Juventus winger Douglas Costa looks set to take Neymar’s place in the starting XI, but Tite has claimed he will not be trying to plug the gap left by the PSG star.
“Neymar is very important for us and cannot be replaced, but Douglas Costa is not replacing him. He is going to be Douglas Costa,” Tite said, according to the Daily Mail.
“All of the players are performing well. It’s going to be very difficult to pick my final squad for the World Cup. I’m trying to give everyone a chance to show what they can do.”
Brasileiragem has a new uniform ! And it's dope. Can’t wait to go back and have the honor to wear it.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) March 21, 2018
Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona in the off-season transfer window, has scored 19 Ligue 1 goals in 20 appearances. He has netted 53 times for the Selecao at the tender age of 26.
Hardly a like-for-like replacement, Costa has scored just twice in 22 Serie A appearances for Juventus this season – 14 of which have been starts.
Friday’s friendly, held at the stadium which will host the World Cup final, will kick off at 18h00 CAT. Next, up afterwards, Brazil is set to face world champions Germany on Tuesday at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.