Roberto Firmino Brazil reactGetty Images

Roberto Firmino: Brazil World Cup snub not how I dreamed my life would go

  • Firmino made 2018 squad
  • Omitted from Tite's 2022 team
  • Younger options preferred by Brazil manager

WHAT HAPPENED? Roberto Firmino missed out on Brazil's team for Qatar, a gut-wrenching outcome for a popular player who has been part of the Selecao squad for four years.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Passing by to say thank you for all the lovely messages," Firmino wrote on Instagram. "The World Cup is a dream for every player and with me it wouldn't be any different. Yesterday things didn't go the way I imagined or dreamed for my life but I can look back and have a grateful heart to God that he has already allowed me to live that dream as well as so many others."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Former Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho - an injury doubt anyway - was also omitted as Tite preferred younger, more direct attackers such as Richarlison, Gabriel Martinelli and Rodrygo to round out his group. Firmino's role at Liverpool has been diminished in recent seasons, and while he remains a valuable rotation player for the club, his downturn in fortunes at Anfield has perhaps influenced his place on Tite's pecking order.

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Tite Brazil 2022Getty Images

Roberto Firmino frustrated BrazilGetty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR FIRMINO? At 31 years old, it's unlikely Firmino will be in the picture for the 2026 World Cup. Brazil have too many bright young forwards who will be reaching their peaks at that time for Firmino to be competitive.