Liverpool forward Firmino to use Brazil World Cup snub as motivation

    Roberto Firmino was ‘pissed’ about not being included in Brazil’s squad for the World Cup, but intends to use that as motivation.

    The Liverpool forward was an unexpected omission by head coach Tite at the tournament in Qatar, where Brazil were knocked out by Croatia in the quarter-finals on penalties.

    Firmino started the season well at club level, scoring nine goals and four assists in 21 appearances (16 starts).

    The 31-year-old man explained that it was part of “God’s plan” and hoped it would encourage him to improve further.

    “Of course it was a shame that I wasn’t called up to the World Championships, but like I said, it’s part of God’s plan and I’m following God’s plan,” he told talkSPORT.

    “The fact that I did not go to the World Cup really motivates me more and more, so I will work hard to return to Selesao.

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

    However, the player suggested that he would be fine and return to training soon, further expanding manager Jurgen Klopp’s attacking options.

    “I am already healed, thank God. I’ll probably practice tomorrow [Thursday]”, Firmino added. “Then, if everything goes well, I’ll be ready, not for the next game. [Leicester] but the one after that [away to Brentford on January 2]. So everything is great.”

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

    The club also confirmed the signing of PSV’s Dutch striker Kody Gakpo on Wednesday, pending a work permit, and Firmino is confident the Reds can continue and put their previous troubles behind them.

    “Personally speaking, I started [the season] very good,” he said. “Of course, we started the season badly as a team, but we are coming back.

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

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