Liverpool forward Firmino to use Brazil World Cup snub as motivation

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After a strong start to the season, many were surprised not to see Roberto Firmino’s name on Tite’s squad list for Brazil at Qatar 2022.

Roberto Firmino was “frustrated” at missing out on Brazil’s World Cup squad, but intends to use it as motivation.

The Liverpool forward was head coach Tite’s surprise omission at the tournament in Qatar, where Brazil crashed out on penalties to Croatia in the quarter-finals.

Firmino has had a solid start to the season at club level, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in 21 appearances (16 starts).

The 31-year-old described it as part of “God’s plan” and hopes it will spur him on to further improvement.

“Obviously it was frustrating not to be invited to the World Cup, but as I said before, it’s part of God’s plan and I’m following God’s plan,” he told talkSPORT.

“It really motivates me more and more that I didn’t go to the World Cup, so I will work hard to get back to the Selecao.”

Despite having time to rest during the World Cup, Firmino was unable to start either of Liverpool’s first two matches against Manchester City and Aston Villa due to illness and is unlikely to feature in Friday’s home clash with Leicester City.

However, the player suggested he should be fine now and will return to training soon, adding to manager Jurgen Klopp’s attacking options.

“I’m already cured, thank God. I’ll probably train tomorrow (Thursday),” added Firmino. “Then everything will be fine, I’ll be ready, not for the next [Leicester] game, but the one after [away to Brentford on January 2]. So all great.”

Liverpool have had a shaky start to the pre-World Cup season, winning just six of their 14 Premier League games (D4, L4), but won 3-1 at Aston Villa on Monday in their first league game since the World Cup.

The club also confirmed on Wednesday the signing of Dutch forward Cody Gakpo from PSV, who will leave on January 1 pending a work permit, and Firmino is confident the Reds can push on and put their previous woes behind them.

“Personally, I started [the season] very well,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t start the season well as a team, but we’re coming back.

“Thanks to the work we do and our never-give-up mentality, we are now back and in shape.”

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