Brazil stars Lucas Paqueta and Raphinha have vowed to keep dancing when Brazil score at the after being slammed for their ‘disrespectful’ celebrations against South Korea.
The selecao eased into a four-goal lead inside 40 minutes in Monday’s last 16 encounter, playing some of the best football of the competition as they eased into the last eight.
The players celebrated each of their goals with a dance routine by the touchline, even getting manager Tite involved after Richarlison capped a dazzling move to score his side’s third.
Former captain Roy Keane typically aghast with the behaviour, accusing Brazil of disrespecting the opposition and commending: ‘I can’t believe what I’m watching, it’s like watching Strictly.’
With the samba style deeply ingrained in Brazil’s culture, West Ham United star Paqueta, who scored his side’s fourth on the night, hit back at the criticism led by the likes of Keane and insisted the show will go on.
‘The dance is a representation of our joy after scoring a goal. We don’t do it to disrespect anyone, we don’t do it in front of our opponents,’ Paqueta said.
‘We all get together to celebrate. If they don’t like it, there’s not much to say.
‘We’ll keep scoring goals and keep dancing. This is a group that is happy to score, to get the victory and the goals.’
Barcelona star Raphinha echoed those sentiments.
‘The problem is with those who don’t like it, because we’ll keep doing it. Dance symbolizes the joy of scoring a goal.
‘We don’t do it to disrespect, we don’t go in front of the opponent, we get together and everyone celebrates, it’s our moment, Brazil is celebrating. If they don’t like it, I don’t have much to say to them, we will continue.”
Brazil manager Tite also dismissed the criticism, insisting he will continue to urge his players to express themselves.
‘There is no interpretation [of the celebrations] other than happiness at the goal, happiness for the team and happiness for the performance.
‘There was no disrespect for the opposition nor towards [South Korea coach] Paulo Bento, for whom I have a lot of respect.’
Tite added: ‘We try to adapt to the characteristics of the players. They are very young and I try to adapt a bit to their language, and part of their language is dancing.’
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