Rio de Janeiro, June 17 (IANS) Brazil football great Pele has given his backing to new Brazil coach Tite, describing the former Corinthians manager as the “right man” for the struggling national team.
Tite was named Brazil coach on Wednesday, replacing the Selecao’s 1994 World Cup-winning captain Dunga, who was sacked after the team was dumped out of the Copa America following a 0-1 loss to Peru, reports Xinhua news agency.
The result meant Brazil failed to progress beyond the group stage of the continental tournament for the first time since 1987.
“He is reliable… he is the right man for the national team,” Pele told reporters on Thursday at the Pele Museum in the Brazilian port city of Santos.
The 75-year-old was speaking after being bestowed with the Olympic Order by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Despite supporting Tite’s appointment, Pele also showed solidarity for Dunga, who he said was not responsible for Brazil’s poor recent results.
“I think it’s unfair to criticize Dunga,” said Pele, who played in Brazil’s 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup-winning teams.
“He wasn’t to blame. The national team didn’t have time to prepare and the team changed a lot from competition to competition.”
Brazil will be aiming to win their first Olympic football gold medal at the Rio 2016 Games, which will be held from August 5-21.