Brazil’s Copa America triumph comes at an important moment for the current group of Selecao players.
Unable to impress as they might have at last year’s World Cup, Tite’s men were under enormous pressure to deliver in their home continent.
That’s exactly what they did by beating Peru 3-1 in the final, courtesy of goals from Everton Soares, Gabriel Jesus, and Richarlison.
One of the few sour points of the evening was a harsh red card for Jesus, the Manchester City striker punching the VAR monitor in frustration as he left the pitch.
The incident didn’t overshadow a glorious moment for the latest generation of Brazilian stars, who led the nation to their ninth Copa America success – but collecting their medals might have.
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Controversial president Jair Bolsonaro took in the game at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro and after the final whistle, he was on hand to give the players their medals.
The former military officer has faced huge criticism since coming to power in the early part of the year due to his extreme right-wing policies.
As reported by Yahoo, he was booed by much of the 70,000-strong crowd and it initially looked like he was given a frosty reception by the playing squad too.
The same source also reported that the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Marquinhos blanked him, while pointing to a video of Tite’s rather muted exchange with him:
Here was the footage which went viral, supposedly showing Marquinhos appearing to ignore the 64-year-old.
However, a new video has since emerged which proves the PSG defender did in fact shake hands with Bolsonaro, something which he confirmed after the game.
“For God’s sake, no,” Marquinhos said when asked if he’d ghosted him, via Globo Esporte.
“I went, I greeted, I returned to get the medal with the person who was before him. There was no problem.”
The 25-year-old received huge plaudits for his actions at the time – and on a day when USA Women’s captain Megan Rapinoe refused to sing the national anthem at the World Cup final amid her feud with Donald Trump – but in any case the record needed to be set straight on this occasion.
Were Brazil deserved winners of Copa America 2019? Have your say in the comments.