Tite hits back at Mbappe criticism

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Mbappe said in May that European teams have an advantage in the global showpiece due to playing "high-level matches" in qualifying.

Mbappe, who lifted the World Cup with France in 2018, added that football in South America "is not as developed as in Europe".

However, Brazil boss Tite does not agree with those comments and feels the quality of football in the CONMEBOL region is as high as anywhere in the world.

"Maybe he is talking about these Nations League clashes or European friendlies, but not World Cup qualifiers," Tite told ESPN. "We don't have, with all due respect, Azerbaijan to play. We don't have anyone that gives you a break.

"The qualifiers here have a much higher degree of difficulty than the group stage [of European qualifying]."

The past four editions of the World Cup have been won by European teams – Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018.

That is the longest run of victories for a single continent in the history of the tournament, with only one runner-up – Argentina in 2014 – coming from outside the continent.

Indeed, 12 of the previous 21 World Cups have been won by European teams, with South America responsible for the other nine winners.

France booked its spot at Qatar 2022 by finishing top of its qualifying group with five wins and three draws from eight matches.

Brazil also went unbeaten in qualifying thanks to 14 wins and three draws en route to finishing six points ahead of Argentina in top spot in the 10-team pool.


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