Messi is an 'extraterrestrial', says Brazil coach Tite

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-03 14:40:47|Editor: Yang Yi
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BELO HORIZONTE, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Brazil head coach Tite reserved special praise for Lionel Messi after the hosts booked a place in the Copa America final with a 2-0 victory over Argentina on Wednesday.

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored in each half as Brazil set up a clash with either Peru or Chile at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium on Sunday.

Argentina controlled a greater share of possession at the Mineirao and had 14 shots on goal to Brazil's four. At the center of most of Argentina's best moves was Messi, particularly during a pulsating second half.

"He's an extraterrestrial," Tite told a news conference. "He's exceptional in all respects, both with the ball and without it."

Messi often drew gasps and applause from Brazil fans with his mazy dribbles, defense-splitting passes and constant scoring threat.

The Barcelona forward hit the post with one effort and forced a sharp save from goalkeeper Alisson Becker with a wickedly dipping free-kick shortly after.

Tite highlighted the evenness of the contest, in contrast to his Argentina counterpart Lionel Scaloni, who claimed the Albiceleste were superior.

"It's impossible to dominate a team for a whole match, especially when they have the quality of Argentina. That's inconceivable."

Tite said he has no preference for Brazil's opponent in the final, saying the side that advances "would do so on merit."

And he singled out Jesus for praise, hailing the Manchester City forward's drive and commitment after a game in which the forward netted his first goal of the tournament.