World Cup team selection is really only tricky for the nations with a wealth of talent. Usually, when someone’s delivered something like 25 goals and 14 assists across all competitions in Europe, that person is surefire choice to make the squad. Especially when they are leading the line as one of the impossible-to-drop names on a team that’s scoring by the bucket loads. But, if your home nation is, say, Brasil, that’s not always a sure lock.
With the likes of Neymar, Coutinho, Willian, Costa, and Gabi Jesus, the field is clearly crowded with players that can be labeled as attackers. Firmino’s own unique abilities - elite work rate, great off-the-ball movement, fantastic vision - make him a bit of an odd duck: does he fit into a crowded midfield? Is he a striker? What’s his best position? The types of questions that can cause a classic over thinker to leave behind a great talent.
Thankfully, Brasilian gaffer Tite did not choose poorly and has elected to name Roberto Firmino as part of Brasil’s 23-man squad headed to the summer tournament. He will be joining the luminaries listed above as well as oft-linked-to-Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson in Russia for the World Cup, which kicks off in a month.
Roberto Firmino’s hard work and tremendous return as the engine that makes Klopp’s Red Racecar run has made this honor a well-deserved one. Over the course of this excellent campaign, Bobby Digital is averaging .94 goals+assists per 90 minutes. Clearly Klopp’s first choice every week and the cog that allows Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to be so deadly, Firmino’s value as a player has never been more plain to Liverpool fans.
Now, they will wish him all the best in this summer’s tournament while also hoping against hope that he returns to Anfield in good health. Boa sorte, Bobby!