On the eve of his fifth game in charge of the Brazilian team, Fernando Diniz held a press conference at Granja Comary, in Teresópolis, this Wednesday morning. The coach, who is without Neymar for the first time since taking office, said that there is no search for a new protagonist.
– We have an extremely talented generation, which emerged two years ago or so. Many can assume this role. But it’s important that we don’t put that weight on ourselves. Players have to feel light and do their best. Highlights around the world include Raphinha at Barcelona, Rodrygo and Vini Jr at Real Madrid, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal. Naturally, they will take the lead. No one has to worry about taking on Neymar’s role.
Diniz also talked about his first contacts with Endrick, the youngest player in the current group.
– The chat with Endrick, I had already talked to him upon arrival. He is a very special player, at his age, being able to produce what he already does, opens up room to project a bright future. It comes because of the merit he has and the enormous future potential.
– I will contribute as much as I can, but with the coach’s limitations. Here we have 24 players to pay attention to. It is being very well fed with information at Palmeiras with Abel (Ferreira) and the staff. But it means lowering expectations a little. He doesn’t have to be a pressured player. We don’t have to expect everything from Endrick at 17 years old. I see huge potential. He could become one of those legendary players in Brazilian football in the future. But time will confirm this – he added.
In part of the training session that opened on Tuesday, the coach used a team with four attackers, without Endrick among the starters: Alisson; Emerson Royal, Marquinhos, Gabriel Magalhães and Renan Lodi; André and Bruno Guimarães; Raphinha, Rodrygo, Vini Jr and Gabriel Martinelli.
Fernando Diniz leads the team’s training before the game against Colombia
With Diniz, the Brazilian team won its first two qualifiers, against Bolivia and Peru, but comes from two stumbles: a draw with Venezuela and a defeat against Uruguay. So far, there have been seven goals scored and four conceded.
Brazil faces Colombia at the Metropolitano stadium this Thursday, at 9 pm (Brasília time), in the fifth round of the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. On Tuesday, the 21st, the opponent will be Argentina, at 9:30 pm , at Maracanã.
With seven points, the Seleção occupies third place in the competition, behind the Argentines, with 12, and the Uruguayans, who also have seven, the same three goal difference, but scored one more: 8 to 7. South America offers six direct places for the World Cup to be played in North America (USA, Canada and Mexico). The seventh placed team qualifies for the repechage.
See other answers from Fernando Diniz:
– It is a team that has gained prominence on the world stage. One of the toughest rivals in South America. They have scored well and played very competitively. Lots of heat, support from the fans. We studied hard and we are prepared. The preparation here has been great, players understanding what we want. As you accumulate tactical knowledge, human connections increase. We hope to raise the level of our game in these two games.
– Alternatives were being created. It’s a shame not to be able to count on Neymar. He is missed in any scenario, just like Casemiro. With their absence, we have to give opportunities to others. enhance this team that will play. Everyone has potential and we hope things go positively. Hopefully the team can respond in the same way they did in training.
– The Uruguay game, in a heated way, there was a more negative view of what the match was. Technically, there were positive things and important negative things. We were harmless in the first half. But in the first half, the team had control of the game, Uruguay barely managed to finish. If there was the same team here that played there, we would also improve. It is not possible to attribute the improvement to the players who will enter. We would already make corrections regarding that match. The change that will occur is only because of the changes we had to make.
– It’s a way to enjoy their moment at Real. They have already played in a more centralized way. Rodrygo has the characteristic of a perfect fit with what I think about football. He won’t change much of the characteristics of what he was doing in other games. With Martinelli’s entry, changes may occur on the sides. Have a tendency to have more movement and positional changes. And with Raphinha himself. We hope to make the most of these four players to create difficulties for our opponents.
– They know they are here on merit. The expectations for them depend on each person’s personality. Expectation control is about living your present, not being overly pressured. Try to know that they are here on merit and act naturally. It’s not about doing anything different from what they do in clubs. If they can play naturally, the chance of a positive performance increases.
Gabriel Jesus’ physical situation
– It didn’t surprise anything. We respect the people who work with him. We have competent staff. My concern is with Gabriel. He was one of the players who managed to be positive and play well in Uruguay. I trust him. Being here is a reason for satisfaction. He said he is feeling good and doing some things. I talked to him and we took the risk of bringing him here. As soon as he arrived, he had an MRI. If he is fit, we will try to play against Argentina.
– Keep that surprise there!