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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 3°C
PA Roy Keane (file pic).
# don't feel like dancing
Brazil hit back at 'irrelevant' Roy Keane after his criticisms last night
The former Ireland and Manchester United captain was unimpressed with the players’ goal celebrations.

BRAZIL’S PLAYERS HAVE divided opinion after they celebrated their goals in the 4-1 World Cup mauling of South Korea with some extravagant dance moves, with even their coach getting in on the act.

The pre-tournament favourites put on a fearsome display of attacking football on Monday to send South Korea home and set up a quarter-final in Qatar with 2018 runners-up Croatia.

Tite’s side took the lead in just the seventh minute through Vinicius Junior and Neymar scored from the penalty spot on his return from an ankle injury as the Koreans were outclassed.

But it was the manner of the exuberant celebrations during the game that caught the eye of many, with the Brazilians rolling out a set of choreographed dance moves.

“Look, I’ve never seen so much dancing, it’s like watching Strictly,” said former Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane, referring to a popular TV show in Britain, in which celebrities compete in a dance contest.

“I just can’t believe what I’m watching, I really can’t,” added the famously scathing television pundit.

“I don’t like this, I think it’s really disrespecting the opposition.”

Even Tite did a jig with his players in front of his dugout after Richarlison scored a classy third for Brazil in the 29th minute.

The Tottenham forward said they had been practising their dance moves.

“This cheerful and happy atmosphere is important, the professor’s joy infects us on the field,” he said of the coach.

61-year-old Tite also defended the celebrations.

“There are always spiteful people who will understand it as disrespect,” he said. “I told the players to hide me a little, I know about the visibility.

“I didn’t want it to have any other interpretation than the joy of the goal, the result, the performance, but not disrespect for the opponent or (South Korea coach) Paulo Bento, for whom I have a lot of respect.”

Alexi Lalas, the former United States stalwart who played at the 1994 World Cup, said he was all for the colourful celebrations.

brazil-vs-south-korea Marcio Machado Brazil players celebrating their opening goal. Marcio Machado

He told Fox Sports: “If you are somebody out there that frowns and is grouchy and grumpy about soccer players dancing after they have scored a goal, or about Brazilian players dancing after they score a goal, and have some misguided concept of what sportsmanship is… then I feel sorry for you.

“I feel sorry for the life you live that has no joy.

“If you want to dance, if you want to sing, if you want run around like a crazy person, you do whatever it is you want to do to celebrate the greatest moment in our beautiful game.”

But Graeme Souness, another famously no-nonsense pundit, was having none of it. “It’s only a matter of time before someone goes right through one of these Brazilians,” said the notoriously tough-tackling former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder.

Keane, in particular, has come under fire in Brazil, with the media and others there hitting back at his criticism. 

TNT Sports wrote on Twitter: “HELLO, ROY KEANE! DON’T LIKE THE DANCES? BITE YOUR BACK! THIS HERE IS BRAZIL!

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“See if you can do something like that! Even Tite will dance here! Like it or not.”

Luís Castro, the Portuguese coach of Rio de Janeiro side Botafogo, told the Brazilian channel SportTV: “Roy Keane doesn’t understand the culture of Brazilian football. He doesn’t understand the Brazilian team.

“We all know that [the dance] isn’t disrespectful to anyone … it just shows real unity between the coach and the players. The world of football shouldn’t worry about this because we’ve become accustomed to Roy Keane’s inelegant and sometimes very arrogant statements.”

“Few things are more irrelevant than Roy Keane’s opinion on the Brazilian national team,” Rafael Belattini of ESPN Brazil added.

“Brazilian football is the embodiment of happiness. Roy Keane be damned,” wrote the sports columnist Julio Gomes in an article for the website UOL Esporte.

“I think Roy Keane … should get fucked,” screenwriter Antonio Tabet told his 3.1 million Twitter followers. “Ireland’s Roy Keane complaining about goal celebrations at a World Cup is like Ronaldinho disapproving of bobsledding at the Winter Olympics.”

Raphinha and Lucas Paquetá are among the players to have responded.

– © AFP 2022

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