Brazil coach Tite praised Roberto Firmino for the impact he made after coming off the bench once again in Brazil’s World Cup opener against Switzerland.
While there is no denying that Gabriel Jesus is a fantastic forward and played well against Switzerland, Roberto Firmino deserves to start vs. Costa Rica in Brazil’s second group stage game on Friday.
After entering the fray late on, the Liverpool man made an instant impact. He almost broke the deadlock with a volley after a mistake from Manu Akanji. What he did that Jesus was failing to was create space for Neymar.
Neymar was stifled by the Swiss, being man-marked by at least one player at every moment of the game. Firmino’s selfless runs made more space for the PSG star to pick the ball up in more dangerous areas.
Speaking after the game, Tite said: “Roberto Firmino is living a moment of confidence. When he entered the pitch, he did a good job. He played very well.”
Firmino scored 27 goals for Liverpool in all competitions last season and assisted a further 16. That creativity will be a massive help for Selecao as they look to win the World Cup after a disappointing 2014 tournament.