DOHA - Brazil coach Tite said his dance celebration during his side's emphatic 4-1 World Cup win over South Korea on Monday was an expression of pure joy at his side's bold attacking performance, and would help him bond with his young team.
Brazil's players rushed over to the dugout after Richarlison put the five-time world champions 3-0 up inside 30 minutes of their last-16 encounter with South Korea, and Tite briefly joined in their dancing.
"We try to adapt to the characteristics of the players," the 61 year-old said when asked about his moves at a news conference. "They are very young and I try to adapt a bit to their language, and part of their language is dancing."
He said his players told him before the game that they would make him dance with them if they scored.
Not everyone was impressed. Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, speaking on Britain's ITV television, said: "People say it's their culture. But I think that's really disrespecting the opposition."
Tite was at pains to stress that was not the case.
"There's no interpretation other than happiness at the goal, happiness for the team, happiness for the performance," he said. "There was no disrespect for the opposition nor towards (South Korean coach) Paulo Bento for whom I have a lot of respect."
Brazil raced into a 4-0 lead over South Korea before halftime with goals from Vinicius Jr., Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta plus a Neymar penalty. The match ended 4-1 after substitute Paik Seung-ho got a consolation goal for the Asian side.
Brazil will face Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday. They beat Japan on penalties earlier on Monday after their last-16 tie finished 1-1.
(Reporting by William Schomberg Editing by Christian Radnedge)