Neymar should not captain Brazil under new boss Tite - Carlos Alberto
Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning captain Carlos Alberto says new Selecao coach Tite should take the national captaincy away from Neymar.
Neymar was made Brazil captain when Dunga returned as coach in 2014, after a World Cup on home soil in which the Barcelona star had impressed but then watched injured as the team were humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semifinals.
The Copa America 2015 saw Neymar lead the team until he was sent off in a group game against Colombia and then missed the rest of the tournament through suspension. Even before Dunga was sacked following another failure at the Copa America Centenario tournament in the United States this month, the former Brazil coach had suggested he was considering naming another captain as Neymar, still just 24, was not dealing well with the extra responsibility.
On being named as the new Brazil coach last week, Tite declined to confirm that he would keep Neymar on as skipper amid criticism of the ex-Santos star's partying as his team were being beaten 1-0 by Peru to once again disappoint in a big tournament.
Being freed of the responsibility to lead the team would be a boost for both Neymar and Brazil, legendary right-back Carlos Alberto has told SporTV.
"If I was the national coach, the first thing I would do would be to ask Neymar to have the humility to return the captain's armband so the coach can choose another player," Carlos Alberto said. "It does not suit him to be captain. Pele was never captain. Neither was Garrincha, or Ronaldo, Rivaldo or Nilton Santos. Why does Neymar have to be captain of the national team?
"It would be better to let him play and free him from the responsibility of leading the group. Leave him free to just think about playing football. He would do more for the team than he has done. I would leave Miranda as captain."
Even though Neymar is clearly Brazil's most marketable player, Carlos Alberto said that the Brazilian football federation (CBF) should make their stance clear and ensure that Tite does not bear full responsibility for the decision.
"In Dunga's time, the national team did not have leadership either on or off the pitch," he said. "Taking the armband away from Neymar cannot just be a decision for the coach."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan