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New Brazil coach has World Cup qualification as priority

New Brazilian national head coach Tite attends a news conference. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
New Brazilian national head coach Tite attends a news conference. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Tite was unveiled as the new Brazil coach on Monday and immediately said his priority was ensuring the five-time champions qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Brazil are currently outside the qualification spots for Russia and Tite was hired to ensure that they do not lose their enviable record of having qualified for every World Cup since the tournament began in 1930.

"The focus is classification," the former Corinthians coach told reporters after his appointment was confirmed in Rio de Janeiro.

"We are not in the classification zone. I think we are going to make it but we run an obvious risk. If we don't face that possibility we are running away from reality. I am here because we didn't get results."

With a third of the campaign over, Brazil currently sit sixth in the South American qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup, one spot outside the qualifying places. The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia and the fifth-placed side enter an inter-continental playoff.

Tite, 55, replaced Dunga, who was fired last week after Brazil were knocked out the Copa America.

Tite, whose real name is Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, led Corinthians to two Serie A titles, the Copa Libertadores and the World Club Cup.

(Writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Mitch Phillips)

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