Arthur revelled in his first international goal after helping Brazil continue their perfect start to World Cup qualifying with a win over Uruguay.

The Juventus midfielder's deflected effort opened the scoring in the 34th minute in Montevideo, where Richarlison doubled the lead and Edinson Cavani later saw red for the hosts on Tuesday.

Tite's men made it four wins from four to begin World Cup 2022 qualifying, while extending their unbeaten run against Uruguay to 11 games.

After scoring his first goal in Brazil colours, Arthur was delighted to contribute for his national team.

"I think it was essential to score this goal. For me, the most important thing is to play well and be able to help the team," he said.

"The goal was good to consolidate my performance and help our team. Professor Tite is always watching everyone."

Through four games, Brazil are two points clear of rivals Argentina in CONMEBOL qualifying.

Arthur said Tite's side were targeting top spot in the gruelling qualifying campaign.

"Our goal is this [to win qualifying]. We are working hard in search of our goal," he said.

"We always have something to improve. We did not enter thinking that we are unbeaten because each game is different and difficult.

"We are on a good path, we trust the technical committee and they trust us. Now it is time to continue working and seeking this qualification for the World Cup."

Brazil started their campaign with wins over Bolivia (5-0) and Peru (4-2), but were challenged this month in victories against Venezuela (1-0) and Uruguay.

Tite said his side, whose next outings are against Colombia and Argentina in March, had to get used to different types of games.

"I feel that the team is consolidating, rolling, maturing, feeling the difficulties, reacting on top of the difficulties," he said.

"You don't dominate the game all the time. You have to control the opponent."

Lucas Paqueta showed Neymar is not irreplaceable by giving Brazil something they were missing against Venezuela, according to assistant coach Matheus Bacchi.

Neymar was called up by Brazil for their 2022 World Cup qualifiers despite suffering from a groin injury as it was hoped he would be fit in time to feature against Uruguay on Tuesday.

However, he was sent back to Paris Saint-Germain to continue his recovery ahead of an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Venezuela at Morumbi on Friday.

The Selecao struggled to create openings in the first half but Paqueta replaced the booked Douglas Luiz at half-time and supplied an incisive pass for the move that resulted in Roberto Firmino scoring the only goal of the game.

"Whenever you have a player of the level of Neymar, with the ability to generate imbalance, the team will miss him," said Bacchi, son of head coach Tite.

"We missed him even more in this game to find an alternative and make space in the man-to-man marking.

"The entrance of Paqueta was a way to find a new path, to move to find the pass in that direction. Neymar is not irreplaceable, but he is indispensable."

Tite added: "In the first half we didn't have enough width to break the man-to-man marking. The passing triangles started to happen with the goal, which started with Paqueta.

"It ended up working [the substitution] due to what the game needed, with Douglas Luiz's card and the entry of a creative, attacking midfielder in Paqueta.

"The use of these pieces is challenging and brings these lessons within the difficulty of the game."

Paqueta was left out of the squad for the first round of qualifiers but was proud to have returned and helped the team break down a tough opponent, who defended deep throughout.

"They were respecting us. They were very compact. We looked for our way to overcome them. Thank God, we found the goal and won the three points," Paqueta told CBF TV.

"We were able to read the game well at half-time. We found the spaces in the second half and broke through their blockade."

Ederson will start Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, while Gabriel Menino has been cut from the squad after testing positive for COVID-19.

Tite picked Weverton as his goalkeeper for the opening two qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru, with Ederson an unused substitute as Alisson missed out due to a shoulder injury.

Alisson returned to the squad for Friday's meeting with Venezuela and Tuesday's clash with Uruguay, but it is the Manchester City keeper who has got the nod from Tite.

"We have three great goalkeepers. Weverton played last time and comes in after a good sequence at Palmeiras. He played two very good games," said Tite.

"I spoke with the three of them personally, together with [goalkeeper coach Claudio] Taffarel. Alisson is an excellent goalkeeper. We have Ederson, who is experiencing a great technical and physical moment."

Tite also confirmed there will be starts for Allan, Everton Ribeiro and Gabriel Jesus, with Casemiro and Philippe Coutinho not in the squad due to coronavirus and injury respectively. Neymar, meanwhile, is being rested in the hope he can recover from a left leg issue to feature in Uruguay.

The Brazil boss is set to have one fewer option at right-back, however, after Menino was found to have contracted COVID-19, despite testing negative upon his arrival at the Granja Comary base on Monday.

"In the tests carried out yesterday, Gabriel Menino tested positive for COVID-19. All other players in the group tested negative," Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar explained.

"It is important to note that, on Monday, when the players arrived, all members of the delegation were tested and the results were negative.

"We have already informed the medical department of Palmeiras. The player is asymptomatic, is already isolated and has been cut from the squad.

"All protective measures are being taken. We will perform a new round of tests before our trip to Uruguay, after the game [against Venezuela]."

Menino has played the bulk of the 2020 Campeonato Brasileiro season as a central midfielder and leads Palmeiras in terms of assists (three), duels won (91) and touches (920).

The 20-year-old has made 286 successful passes in the opposition half – the second most among his team-mates – and ranks third at Palmeiras in terms of dribbles completed (22) and tackles (34) this term.

Head coach Tite insisted there is no barrier to Brazil taking the field to face Venezuela and he is unsure whether a replacement for Menino will be drafted in.

Tite said: "The doctor will speed up the other tests. In the meantime there is no problem for us to play. Roughly speaking, the information given to us – for all players and coaching staff – was that.

"These are challenges that all national teams have faced. The selection had a greater number than are actually here, either due to injury to the COVID-19 problem.

"But opportunities arise. Pedro was called up … but there are also other opportunities for high-level players to come and show themselves.

"The first reaction was to say: 'Man, what a pity for Gabriel Menino, and we are all at risk.' The pandemic is not over. That is not an opinion, it is fact. We have to be very careful."

Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho will not return to fitness before the November international break, according to the Brazil national team.

Coutinho suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday's defeat to Real Madrid despite completing the full game at Camp Nou.

Barca said a timescale for the former Liverpool man's return "depends on how the injury evolves", but Brazil's doctors have also now assessed the player.

Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar believes "there is not enough time for the recovery of the player for his participation in the next two rounds of [2022 World Cup] qualifiers", a statement read.

Brazil have therefore called up Lyon's Lucas Paqueta in his place for the fixtures against Venezuela and Uruguay on November 13 and 17.

Should Coutinho be available for Barca again following the break, he would make his return against Atletico Madrid almost a month on from the initial issue.

Coutinho is set to be joined in missing Brazil's qualifiers by Liverpool's Fabinho.

The midfielder, who has been playing in defence for the Reds since Virgil van Dijk's injury, sustained a hamstring problem in Tuesday's Champions League win over Midtjylland.

Liverpool were waiting for a scan on the injury on Wednesday, but Jurgen Klopp suggested Fabinho's absence would not represent a major blow for Brazil, as he has earned just 12 caps for his country and started on five occasions.

"I'm not sure if Tite's too worried because he plays him never, so he will probably now not sit on the bench for the next [two] international games," Klopp said.

Vinicius Junior earned a recall to the Brazil squad on Friday as head coach Tite explained his intention to rotate his less experienced players. 

After being left out of the team for the opening games of Brazil's 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in October, Vinicius returned at the expense of Real Madrid team-mate Rodrygo. 

Bruno Guimaraes made way for Arthur, while Rodrigo Caio held onto his spot in the group and Felipe was dropped for Eder Militao, who only made his first appearance of the season for Madrid last weekend. 

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus were included as expected after missing last month's matches through injury, with Santos and Matheus Cunha consequently left out. 

"For the young players it's a matter of process, of maturity in their clubs. [Their selection depends on] the best moment, the degree of confidence they have," said Tite. 

"For this reason, I'll sometimes use Vinicius, Rodrygo, Bruno Guimaraes... 

"[Vinicius] is a player that offers width, goes one on one, has extraordinary physical attributes. Say a normal car has five gears – he has six or seven." 

Brazil sit top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying section after wins over Bolivia and Peru in their opening fixtures.

The Selecao are scheduled to entertain Venezuela and travel to Uruguay during the next international break in November.
 

Brazil squad: 

Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras); Alex Telles (Manchester United), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo Caio (Flamengo), Thiago Silva (Chelsea); Arthur (Juventus), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona); Everton (Benfica), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid). 

Tite hailed Neymar and said the Brazil star was only getting better after the forward moved past Ronaldo on the nation's goalscoring list.

Neymar scored a hat-trick as Brazil recorded a hard-fought 4-2 win over Peru in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

With 64 international goals, he moved past Ronaldo (62), with only Pele (77) having scored more times for Brazil than the 28-year-old.

Tite was full of praise for Neymar, who netted two penalties in the win over a 10-man Peru.

"Each historic moments of the selection, each generation, it has its own values," the Brazil coach told a news conference, via Globo.

"It has Ronaldo, extraordinary phenomenon. There are Rivaldo, Romario, Bebeto, each one in his own moment. It is unfair to make comparisons in the stages of each one.

"What I can say is that Neymar has this unpredictability. He is a bow and arrow. He is the player for the assist and the finish too, better and better and with an increasing degree of maturity."

Brazil trailed twice against Peru as Andre Carrillo and Renato Tapia scored, only for their efforts to be cancelled out by Neymar and Richarlison respectively.

Neymar scored another spot-kick in the 83rd minute before sealing the win, and completing his hat-trick, in additional time to give Tite's men a second win in as many qualifiers.

"Playing against Peru is always very difficult. There is a great degree of difficulty, a history of games like that," Tite said.

"Playing here and imposing oneself is very difficult."

He added: "We took the goals in two moments that we were better. Reacting here is very difficult and we did it."

Brazil coach Tite praised the performance of Neymar and was pleased at Roberto Firmino's contribution in the 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia. 

Liverpool forward Firmino scored twice as Brazil opened their World Cup qualifying campaign in impressive fashion, despite having not played an international fixture in nearly 12 months. 

Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho also scored, with Bolivia not helping their cause with an own goal in the rout in Sao Paulo. 

Neymar did not score but was influential throughout, the Paris Saint-Germain forward showing no signs of the back problem that had bothered him during the build-up to the game. 

"We seek knowledge, strategies, [to play] with harmony," Tite said after the resounding victory. 

"Neymar was looser, more central, with freedom of movement, as the opponent's marking is more demanding.  

"Coutinho played inside, with Firmino not far behind. He [Firmino] did not seek the ball so much, he waited for it more.  

"He scored two and could have had two more. As the game requires, we may not change the function of the team, but adapt it to suit."

Brazil are next in action on Tuesday, when they are away to Peru. 

Tite will hope his side can be just as clinical on their travels in what will be a repeat of the 2019 Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro, a game the Selecao won 3-1 to lift the trophy.

"It is a feature to maintain possession of the ball. But there is no use getting the ball and finishing little," the Brazil boss added in his press conference.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is doubtful for Brazil's opening World Cup 2022 qualifier against Bolivia with a back injury.

Footage on social media this week showed Neymar putting his hand on his lower back and keeling on the floor in pain during a training session.

He was unable to train on Thursday and Tite is now preparing to be without his key man for Friday's clash in Sao Paulo, with Flamengo's Everton Ribeiro on standby.

Brazil's team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed a decision will be made on Neymar's availability on Friday and Tite added: "We will have to wait and see.

"If we are without Neymar then it will be Everton in his place."

Brazil are already without goalkeeper Alisson and striker Gabriel Jesus but Tite still has a deep squad to choose from for the double-header with Bolivia and Peru.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro will captain the side in the absence of Dani Alves, who is regaining fitness after an injury layoff, while Weverton and Douglas Luiz will also start.

"The captain for tomorrow's game is Casemiro," Tite said. "He is one of the captains, one of the leaders we have.

"We have three great goalkeepers but Weverton has played at a high level.

"Douglas Luiz is another. We want to give him greater freedom to attack from the left side. He needs to be able to supply the man up front."

Brazil will belatedly get their qualifying campaign up and running after the first four rounds of fixtures were called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Selecao won the 2019 Copa America but have advanced past the quarter-final stage of the World Cup just once since 2002, when they won the fifth of their titles.

That occasion was on home soil in 2014, in which they suffered a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany.

"It is about enjoying the pressure," Tite said at his pre-match news conference on Thursday. "It is my responsibility to make decisions and win titles.

"I have the opportunity to be a world champion with Brazil. But this is a team under construction."

Neymar and Thiago Silva featured in the Brazil squad selected by head coach Tite on Friday for the World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

The five-time World Cup winners had been due to get their campaign underway in March, but the coronavirus pandemic forced a delay until October.

Tite named a 23-man pool including seven Premier League-based players, with veteran Chelsea recruit Silva among them following his move from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG superstar Neymar featured among a squad of attacking players including Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, Everton's Richarlison and Real Madrid's Rodrygo.

Barcelona winger Philippe Coutinho, whose Camp Nou future is unclear following Ronald Koeman's arrival as Quique Setien's successor, was also called in for the October games.

Brazil face Bolivia in Sao Paulo on October 9 before travelling to tackle Peru in Lima four days later, as their bid to reach Qatar 2022 begins.

Palmeiras defender Gabriel Menino and Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes will be involved for the first time in a Brazil squad gathering.

 

Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Santos (Athletico-PR), Weverton (Palmeiras); Rodrigo Caio (Flamengo), Danilo (Juventus), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Alex Telles (Porto); Casemiro (Real Madrid), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Fabinho (Liverpool), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo); Everton (Benfica), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Rodrygo (Real Madrid).

Neymar remains a talisman for Brazil but head coach Tite does not fear playing without the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

Tite discussed the lavishly gifted yet divisive forward in an interview with France Football.

He believes Neymar, who moved to PSG from Barcelona in a world record move in August 2017, played the best football of his career at Camp Nou.

The 28-year-old has frequently been linked with a return to Barcelona after a pair of seasons where injuries frustrated his hopes of bringing Champions League glory to the French capital.

"Neymar is essential, but not irreplaceable," Tite said. "In each match, I ask myself the same question: how to get the best out of him, build and balance the team around him? 

"The position where I found him performing best at a club, as in the national team, was when he played in Barcelona, ​​on the left side to come [inside]. 

"In other words, starting from one side, where he worked with the environment, then using his perception of the game, his speed of reflection and execution, his capacity for improvisation, and adding his speed to it. 

"The best Neymar I saw playing was during this period. The level of play he reached then was exceptional and only [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo were above. I have never seen [Eden] Hazard, [Antoine] Griezmann or [Paul] Pogba play at this level."

Brazil emphatically showed there is life without Neymar as they claimed Copa America glory on home soil last year, despite their star man missing the tournament with an ankle injury.

Tite's side closed out a 3-1 win over Peru in the final – a victory Tite felt served to exorcise any demons remaining from their humiliating 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany as World Cup hosts in 2014.

"Winning the Copa America, at home in Brazil, was a major challenge," he said. "Especially for the players who had experienced the affront of 2014 as closely as possible - Dani Alves, Fernandinho, Thiago Silva.

"This title was all the more important since we had lost Neymar to injury just a few days before the start of the tournament. The pressure and the expectation of the supporters was considerable. Winning was, therefore, the only option available to us. 

"When you have to face Argentina with Messi, Uruguay with [Edinson] Cavani and [Luis] Suarez, or Colombia with James (Rodriguez), his absence necessarily creates more emotional instability. 

"Neymar reassures you, because he brings unpredictability to your game. Because he will offer you an individual or collective solution that the others do not have. So winning without him and resisting this pressure made the group aware of its value, yes."

Tite rejected criticism of his decision to play Rodrygo Goes for just two minutes in Brazil's 3-0 win over South Korea on Tuesday.

The Brazil coach said on Monday he would be patient with the teenage forward, who has made an impressive start to life at Real Madrid.

Rodrygo has scored twice in four LaLiga appearances for Madrid and notched a hat-trick in their 6-0 Champions League demolition of Galatasaray this month.

The 18-year-old got 19 minutes on his debut in the 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday and received even less playing time in Abu Dhabi.

"It's one thing to throw Rodrygo into a system that's already structured, like Real's. It's another thing to put him in a team that is being reassembled, even if he was doing the same job in the same position," said Tite.

"It was so hard to organise for the team for today and they responded well. They were close to scoring a fourth and a fifth.

"It was a chance for Fabinho, Renan Lodi and Militao. They earned the chance and asserted themselves. Could it have been Rodrygo? Yes, but I preserved the continuity and the good moment of the team in the game."

Brazil can feel the confidence Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has brought to the squad, according to coach Tite.

Fabinho made his 11th appearance for Brazil off the bench in a 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday, having made an impressive start to the Premier League season.

Tite said the 26-year-old had added plenty to Brazil, who are on a five-match winless run ahead of facing South Korea on Tuesday.

"Fabinho has built a positive growing. All the times he played, he played very well," he told a news conference.

"And he brings confidence from his club to the Brazil national squad. In a natural way, and we can feel it. It's not that you can only see it, you can feel it.

"Fabinho is playing his normal football in a role that he also has at Liverpool."

Brazil are winless since lifting the Copa America trophy in July, putting some pressure on Tite at the helm.

Tite was criticised by Rivaldo after the loss to Argentina, the Brazil great unhappy with the decision to give Lucas Paqueta – who was substituted at half-time – the number 10 shirt.

However, Tite would not be drawn into firing back at Rivaldo, instead speaking of his respect for the former Barcelona star.

"I respect opinions, I don't give opinions on them. I learnt to respect them," he said.

"And I also have a very clear opinion on Rivaldo. He was a great player and the image that comes to me is of him controlling the ball on the chest and scoring in Barcelona. The most beautiful thing in this world. That's my opinion."

Brazil head coach Tite said he was told to shut up by Argentina captain Lionel Messi in the friendly clash between the South American rivals.

Messi returned from a three-month international ban to lead Argentina past Brazil 1-0 thanks to his 13th-minute goal in Riyadh on Friday.

Argentina star Messi missed Argentina's previous four matches due to a suspension for accusing CONMEBOL of favouring hosts Brazil – who won their semi-final meeting – at the Copa America and he was in the thick of the action against Tite's Selecao.

Messi and Tite exchanged words in the opening half, with the Barcelona superstar seen putting his fingers to his lips as the Brazil boss complained to the referee.

"I complained because he [Messi] should have been shown a yellow card and he told me to shut my mouth and I told him to shut his mouth," Tite said. "And that was it."

Tite added: "I don't want to answer anymore on it. You need a strong referee because he'll swallow you… It should have been a card, I was right to complain."

Messi's goal condemned Brazil – who have struggled since lifting the Copa America trophy – to their fifth consecutive match without victory.

Tite accepted Brazil were under pressure after their winless run continued with a 1-0 loss to rivals Argentina in a friendly on Friday.

Lionel Messi scored the game's only goal on his return to the Argentina team in Riyadh, converting a rebound after Alisson saved his penalty in the 13th minute.

Gabriel Jesus had earlier put a penalty wide for Brazil, who are winless in five games since lifting the Copa America in July.

Tite said there was pressure on Brazil – who face South Korea in another friendly on Tuesday – amid their poor run of results.

"There is a need for the result, yes. There are moments of pressure and this is one," Tite told a news conference.

"The way we are going to look is carefully, but the need for the result occurs, even at a time of preparation."

Brazil were without the injured Neymar, and they are feeling the absence of the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Tite's side have scored just four goals in their past five games and the coach lamented Brazil's inability to take their chances.

"Translating opportunities into goals is key, and I also speak of the penalty," he said.

Teenage Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Goes has been included in Brazil's squad for the first time ahead of next month's friendlies with Argentina and South Korea.

The 18-year-old made his first competitive start for Madrid in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win against Galatasaray, having also made a couple of substitute appearances in LaLiga this season.

Rodrygo is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by fellow newcomer Douglas Luiz, who has performed well in the Premier League since joining Aston Villa from Manchester City in July.

There is no place for fellow Madrid players Vinicius Junior and Marcelo, while injured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar also misses out, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson returns to the squad after recovering from a calf injury.

Brazil take on South American rivals Argentina in Saudi Arabia in three weeks and then travel to Abu Dhabi for a friendly with South Korea.

The Copa America holders enter the match without a win in their past four outings - all friendlies - and Tite is looking for an improvement as preparations continue for next year's World Cup qualifiers.

"I was not satisfied with our performances and results," he said at a news conference on Friday.

"But we have played in three competitive competitions. In the first, we formatted the team. The second, we reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In the Copa America, we won the title.

"Now we are at a new stage of the preparations, preparing for the qualifiers."

Brazil squad in full:

Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Emerson (Real Betis), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich); David Neres (Ajax), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea).

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