Roberto Firmino’s World Cup spot is in danger after the Liverpool forward was unable to play for Brazil on Friday
This week marked Firmino’s first appearance in Tite’s squad in more than a year. The Liverpool striker was then relegated to the sidelines despite being given one last opportunity to shine before the winter competition.
This would not typically pose a significant problem. There wouldn’t be a reason to be concerned if Bobby’s position on the team was assured.
However, the reality is rather different. Firmino now just has one game left to convince Tite that he deserves to travel to Qatar. It might be detrimental if he doesn’t make an impact or play any minutes against Tunisia on Tuesday.
Firmino’s injuries last season couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. The 30-year-old was a nearly constant member of his country’s team up to the summer of 2021.
But because he missed a significant portion of last season, his World Cup spot is now in jeopardy. He would have been a lock for the squad if he had remained healthy.
However, given the nature of Brazil, Bobby has a lot of offensive opponents to contend with. Richarlison of Tottenham, who scored twice on Friday, was the star of the show.
Vinicius Junior scored once again to put Brazil up 3-0 over Ghana before the break. Tite ought to have taken the opportunity to provide some of those with question marks next to them a chance to prove themselves.
With performers like Matheus Cunha and Rodrygo Goes on, he may have done that. But Firmino remained inactive throughout it all.
For Liverpool’s No. 9, Cunha’s introduction will have been the most worrying. The Atletico Madrid player, although being slightly different players, is possibly the most likely to replace Firmino similarly.
Perhaps an indication that this won’t be Firmino’s year is that the 23-year-old was given the chance instead.
However, Tuesday still offers that one opportunity. Bobby still has about a month to convince Tite that he is still the “elite” forward Ian Wright once referred to him as, even if it ends up being another watching brief for him. Even though it isn’t over yet, it is close to being over.