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Brazil Tite defends Neymar's captaincy credentials

Neymar has chosen to step down as Brazil captain but new coach Tite says the star forward remains leadership material.

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Tite believes Neymar has what it takes to continue as Brazil's captain but has supported the Barcelona forward's decision to hand back the armband.

Neymar announced his intention to step down as skipper after guiding the country to Olympic gold in Rio on Saturday.

The former Santos star had replaced Thiago Silva as the national team's permanent on-field leader in September 2014.

Tite, who on Monday named his first squad since succeeding Dunga as head coach, feels the 24-year-old is equipped to continue in the position but is also prepared to look at alternative figureheads. 

The 55-year-old told a news conference: "He said, 'I don't want to be the captain' and I said to him, 'Enjoy it with your family, go and celebrate this victory because that is something we can look at later'. 

"Why? Because being a leader has a series of aspects: It has a technical aspect, a technical leadership, and he is a technical leader. 

"There is then another aspect where you can communicate your ideas with the public. They [leaders] must lead by example. In short, he has these qualities, but others can be it [the captain] too since these are the diverse aspects that are needed to be the leader."

Tite, who has had spells in charge of Corinthians, Palmeiras and Internacional during a nomadic career on the touchline, claimed he is yet to decide if he will deploy Neymar in a wide or central attacking role. 

"On the left – where he is positioned for Barcelona - is where he has a more established routine," he said.

"But he can also be used centrally if necessary within the game. I have not decided on one or another situation. [I prefer] observing and letting the player play where he feels more comfortable because there he can produce more - and this is also my goal."

Brazil's next match of their World Cup qualifying campaign is away to Ecuador on September 1.

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