Some members of Brazil’s national football team arrived after being eliminated from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Also Read - FIFA World Cup 2022 Organisers Hoping For More Indian Eyeballs Than Previous Edition
Members of the technical staff as well as Casemiro, Douglas Costa, Gabriel Jesus, Geromer, Philippe Coutinho and Taison landed on Sunday at Rio’s international airport on a flight from St Petersburg, which made a stop in Madrid. Also Read - Football: Neymar Confirms He is Clear of COVID-19, Returns to Training Ahead of PSG's Clash With Marseille
Neymar, who was expected to return on the same flight, was not seen descending from the aircraft, while the rest of the players either returned to Brazil by their own means or stayed on in Europe.
The players were acclaimed by a small group of fans who had been waiting in the airport since early morning despite Brazil’s 1-2 defeat against Belgium on Friday.
According to local media, Brazil’s coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi “Tite” has been invited by the Brazilian Soccer Confederation to continue leading the national team.
“I am proud to transmit something worthwhile. I only want to give back some of the affection that we have received. I want to thank the fans,” Tite told reporters.
Casemiro, who did not play in the match against Belgium because of the yellow cards he had accumulated, also spoke to reporters.
“Two years ago, Brazil risked not qualifying and now we were one of the best teams. A lot of progress has been made. This isn’t the end of an era, we have to value what was achieved,” the Real Madrid player said, adding that he supported Tite’s continuation as head coach.
Casemiro also came out in defence of midfielder Fernandinho, who scored an own goal during the match against Belgium.
“When you lose, everyone loses; when you win, everyone wins. He had bad luck, but in other matches, he played well. He is a great player, we all trust him,” he said.