“There Are Always Spiteful People”: Brazil Coach Defends Team Celebration

Brazil’s players have divided football after they celebrated each of their goals in the 4-1 World Cup mauling of South Korea with some extravagant dance moves, with even their coach getting in on the act. The pre-tournament favourites put on a fearsome display of attacking football to send South Korea home and set up a quarter-final on Friday in Qatar with 2018 runners-up Croatia. Coach Tite’s side took the lead after just seven minutes through Vinicius Junior and Neymar scored from the penalty spot on his return from an ankle injury as the Koreans were outclassed.

But it was the manner of the exuberant celebrations during Monday’s which caught the eye of many, with the Brazilians rolling out a set of choreographed dance moves.

“Look, I’ve never seen so much dancing, it’s like watching Strictly,” said former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, referring to a hugely popular television show in Britain where celebrities compete in a dance contest.

“I just can’t believe what I’m watching, I really can’t,” added the famously scathing television pundit.

“I don’t like this, I think it’s really disrespecting the opposition,” Keane added.

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Even Tite did a jig with his players in front of his dugout after Richarlison scored a classy third for Brazil in the 29th minute.

“There are always spiteful people who will understand it as disrespect,” the 61-year-old said afterwards, defending the celebrations.

“I told the players to hide me a little, I know about the visibility.

“I didn’t want it to have any other interpretation than the joy of the goal, the result, the performance, but not disrespect for the opponent or (South Korea coach) Paulo Bento, for whom I have a lot of respect.”

Alexi Lalas, the former United States stalwart who played at the 1994 World Cup, said he was all for it.

“If you are somebody out there that frowns and is grouchy and grumpy about soccer players dancing after they have scored a goal, or about Brazilian players dancing after they score a goal, and have some misguided concept of what sportsmanship is…

“Then I feel sorry for you, I feel sorry for the life you live that has no joy,” he told Fox Sports.

“If you want to dance, if you want to sing, if you want run around like a crazy person, you do whatever it is you want to do to celebrate the greatest moment in our beautiful game.”

But Graeme Souness, another famously no-nonsense pundit from Britain, was having none of it.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone goes right through one of these Brazilians,” said the notoriously tough-tackling former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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