With the release of FIFA’s latest FIFPro World XI shortlist, unsurprisingly, much has been made about the players who many believe have been unfairly excluded.
And one exclusion that has seemed to ruffle a few feathers in particular is that of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Firmino was in fantastic form for Liverpool last season, helping guide Jurgen Klopp’s men to the Champions League final after scoring an incredible 10 goals.
Firmino’s displays in the Champions League, as well as his brilliant performances in the Premier League, however, were not enough for the Brazilian to make the FIFPro World XI shortlist — much to the displeasure of Liverpool supporters.
And the Liverpool fans discontent with Firmino’s exclusion have every right to be, while Firmino himself may feel slightly disappointed to have missed out considering fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were included.
While Firmino obviously did not score as much goals as Salah, like Mane, his value to the team is just as important — if not more.
The Brazil international is the orchestrator of practically every Liverpool attack. As a false 9, he drops to collect the ball, enticing central defenders to him in the process, and thus allowing Salah and Mane to run in behind.
It is a spectacular move to watch and is just one of many things Firmino brings to this Liverpool side.
Since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp back in 2015, Firmino has slowly developed into one of the most efficient forwards in the league and, in the Champions League last season, he showed goal-scoring capabilities that rivalled and bettered that of so many of Europe’s other elite strikers.
Quite frankly, with Firmino being snubbed from the FIFPro World XI shortlist, it goes to show the lack of credibility these things have and, while the Liverpool faithful are right to highlight the lack of sense here, it is not worth their time.