Brazil set to put dour World Cup performances behind them

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Neymar had the "great honour" to go level with Brazil great Romario on 55 worldwide goals in Sunday's 3-0 win over Austria, saying it allowed him to pay tribute to the former striker.

Brazil's World Cup team on Tuesday celebrated Philippe Coutinho's birthday by covering the Barcelona star in eggs, flour and milk.

So, how have they managed that?

Despite Brazil's chances looking up, coach Tite remains little-known outside his own country where he has spent almost entire career, coaching more than 10 teams, and including three stints at domestic club Corinthians where he made his name.

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Below, in a friendly against Germany, Joachim Low's team pressed Brazil high up the pitch in an attempt to force a mistake by the defenders during build-up.

Brazil, who crashed out of the last World Cup on home soil in a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany, start their campaign against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don on Sunday.

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Brazil have plenty of attacking talent along with Neymar. Shortly after, the team flew to Sochi, its base for the tournament, as those back in their homeland reacted to a win which impressed and boosted expectations of winning an unprecedented sixth world title. But Coutinho makes Brazil a more efficient team and certainly much more joyful to watch.

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Brazil have won 17 of their 21 games since Tite took over two years ago and lost only once.

Coutinho nearly got his second and Brazil's fourth in the 73rd minute but his curling strike from distance rattled the upright with Linder well beaten.

However, when Tite took over as manager in August 2016, his plan was to rehabilitate Brazil's much-maligned 2014 World Cup captain.

Neymar, making his first start since February, doubled the lead midway through the second half, slotting in after a nice piece of skill, BBC reports. The world's most expensive player came back from a broken metatarsal last weekend to rifle in a game-sealing goal in the 2-0 win over Croatia at Anfield.

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