RIO DE JANEIRO – Tite was handed a new contract to remain as coach of the Brazil national team until 2022 on Wednesday despite their traumatic World Cup quarter-final exit in Russia, the Brazilian football federation (CBF) said.
“The CBF has renewed the contract with coach Tite until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” wrote the CBF on its website.
Tite is the first coach of the Brazil national team to be re-appointed after a World Cup elimination since Claudio Coutinho in 1978.
Brazil, with superstar Neymar in their ranks, were regarded as one of the favourites for the 2018 World Cup but they were knocked out in the last-eight, losing 2-1 to Belgium.
“The federation has given us the conditions to build an environment of unity and professionalism, it's a great challenge and we are happy to face it, already focused on our next matches and competitions,” Tite said in a statement.
Tite's first challenge will be to win the Copa America in 2019 when Brazil hosts the tournament.
Brazil will begin their post-World Cup rehabilitation with a series of friendlies, the first of which is against the United States in New Jersey on September 7.
“The CBF is investing in a long-term project to guarantee the staff six-and-a-half-years in charge of La Selecao, and we believe that this careful planning will bring to Brazilian football the results we expect,” said Rogerio Caboclo, the executive director of the CBF.
Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, who is universally known by his nickname Tite, took over the Brazil job in June 2016 and immediately faced a daunting task.
The team under Dunga, who'd been fired, were an embarrassment. And Dunga himself had been hired in 2014 to resurrect a team reeling from the ultimate humilation of that 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Brazilian soil.
By the time Tite took over, Brazil had already played a third of their qualifying games for the 2018 tournament and Tite wondered whether he'd have time to turn the slow-motion disaster around.
Immediately after getting the job, “I said to myself... 'What if I don't manage to qualify? '“ he told TV Globo recently.
Tite, 57, says his wife Rose looked at him in concern. “I can't figure out what you're thinking,” she said.
But the devout Catholic, who has a shrine to the Virgin Mary in his office, did more than just sort out his thoughts.
In seven months he pulled the team from the brink and turned them into winners, comfortably topping the South American qualifying group.
Tite's emotional and eloquent way of talking and his father-figure status in the dressing room were key in healing the mental scars of talented, young players who'd known so many setbacks.
Tite didn't have to make wholesale changes to the squad - he only had to bring out the best in what he already had.
A fan of typical Brazilian rice and beans, washed down with the potent cachaca-based cocktail caipirinha, Tite admitted he cried for a week after the 2014 loss to Germany, when he waited in vain for a call from the Brazilian Football Confederation to take over.
“When I wasn't chosen... I felt frustrated, angry and very sad,” he said. “But right then I thought of my mother. She was a fighter. Whenever our family had problems, she'd start working even harder,” he told The Players' Tribune.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)