As we often say here, Brazilians who leave for Europe early don’t really have their careers appreciated by their home country media.
A recent example of that is Fernandinho, who despite doing well for Manchester City, has been slammed by a TV pundit for not being good enough for the national team.
In a recent interview with Goal, the player claimed the Brazilian press don’t follow the European leagues as much as they should, which is pretty true.
And now it’s time for Roberto Firmino to be questioned in the national team, with a Brazilian commentator saying he would pick the former Manchester City striker Jô instead.
Analysing the national team on Sportv, journalist Milton Leite said: “We see Firmino playing for Liverpool. Liverpool is a middleweight, a weak side of Europe. If compared to the other big ones, it’s a lot easier to play for Liverpool than to play for the Brazilian national team, right?” (via UOL)
“With all due respect to Liverpool, because it was great and such. Now, I don’t think he’s a Brazilian national player, just like there are others in the group that I don’t think either, but I’m not the manager.”
Asked who would be good enough to be in the squad he said: “There’s no queue because we haven’t tested others. I think Jô, for example, is more of a player than Firmino.”
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There was a big discussion in the show, with other journalists claiming there’s no one better than Firmino to be called up, but the commentator kept disagreeing with them.
Unlike Neto, who criticised Fernandinho, Milton Leite is pretty respected in Brazil, but his opinion was considered controversial, which is why it made the news.
Currently 30 years old, Jô has been doing well for Corinthians with 19 goals scored this year, but hasn’t been called up since the 2014 World Cup.