Tite said his dance celebration during Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea was an expression of pure joy, but Roy Keane described the behaviour as disrespectful and suggested it was like watching an episode of Strictly Come Dancing.
Brazil’s players rushed over to the dugout after Richarlison put the five-time world champions 3-0 up inside 30 minutes and head coach Tite briefly joined in with their dancing.
Brazil went on to score again before half-time in what was a blistering display of attacking football but Keane, speaking on ITV, was unimpressed with their antics.
“I can’t believe what I’m watching, it’s like watching Strictly,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“I don’t like this. People say it’s their culture. But I think that’s really disrespecting the opposition. It’s four goals, and they are doing it every time.
“I don’t mind so much the first jig, it’s the one after that, and the manager getting involved. I’m not happy about it. I don’t think it’s good at all.”
But speaking after the match, Brazil boss Tite was quick to stress it was not his side’s intention to insult South Korea and said the celebrations would help him bond with his young team.
“There’s no interpretation other than happiness at the goal, happiness for the team, happiness for the performance,” he said.
“There was no disrespect for the opposition nor towards [South Korea coach] Paulo Bento for whom I have a lot of respect.
“We try to adapt to the characteristics of the players. They are very young and I try to adapt a bit to their language, and part of their language is dancing.”
Brazil’s emphatic 4-1 win at Stadium 974 sent them into the World Cup quarter-finals, where they will face 2018 runners-up Croatia on Friday.
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:
It says a lot about the bewildering level of technical ability in this Brazil side that it was their centre-backs, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva, who combined to set up Richarlison’s brilliant third goal.
From front to back, they were all at it, toying with South Korea and administering brutal punishment, their dazzling first-half display – albeit against poor opposition – a reminder of why Brazil, although slow starters at this tournament, are favourites to win it.
Richarlison’s strike, which featured him juggling the ball on his head in the build-up, was the pick of the four. The Tottenham forward, scorer of a sensational overhead kick against Serbia, appears to be running his own personal goal of the tournament competition.
But there was plenty to enjoy about the others too.
For the opener, there was Raphinha skinning his man to create the chance, then Vinicius Jr taking the ball under his spell and bending it around four South Korean players on the goal-line.
For the fourth, there was the Real Madrid man turning provider, his delicate, lofted centre finding the onrushing Lucas Paqueta without the need for him to break his stride.
There were many more moments to savour in between, from the dancing celebrations, one of which involved their manager in the dugout, to the showboating brilliance that drew gasps from the crowd.
This was Brazil as we know them.
South Korea were accommodating opponents, but the speed, precision and sheer enjoyment of Brazil’s display evoked memories of their best sides. At the end, the players held up a banner in support of Pele as he watched from his hospital bed in Sao Paulo. The great man doubtless approved of what he saw. Brazil have arrived.