By 90Min
March 23, 2018

Brazil head coach Tite says he does not expect Douglas Costa to serve as Neymar's replacement ahead of the Selecao's international friendlies against Russia and Germany. 

Neymar will miss out for Brazil as he continues to recover from a foot injury. The Paris Saint-Germain star is 'irreplaceable' to Brazil according to Tite, but the 56-year-old expects his team to cope in his absence. 

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Neymar underwent surgery back in February after breaking his metatarsal in a match against Marseille. He is expected to return to action in the weeks prior to the start of the World Cup this summer, but will miss out for this latest round of friendlies. 

Juventus' Douglas Costa has been called up to cover for Neymar, but is under no pressure to emulate his injured teammate. 

"Neymar is irreplaceable," explained Tite (via ESPN). "For the high level and quality he has, among the top three [players]. Douglas Costa will not replace Neymar, he will be Douglas Costa."

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Brazil will play the World Cup hosts Russia on Friday 23 March, followed by a tough match against the reigning champions Germany on Tuesday. The Selecao had a strong qualification campaign where they finished top of the South America table.


Brazil will be one of the contenders to lift the trophy in the summer, but they will have to prepare for the competition without their talismanic winger. 

Tite insists Brazil can't become too reliant on Neymar, and has called for team unity and strength as a key ingredient to success: "We have to assume the responsibility of being strong as a team. I can't put it on the back of the main player, of the most famous, to solve things."

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