By 90Min
November 13, 2017

Roberto Firmino has claimed that he and his international teammates intend to "bring the glory years back to Brazil" after the humiliation of the last World Cup.

The Seleção fell to a 7-1 defeat against Germany on home soil, but the 26-year-old was not included in the squad despite an impressive season for Hoffenheim.

A move to the Premier League with Liverpool has seen Firmino's reputation rise exponentially, and he is now a fixture in Tite's national team squads.

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“I left Brazil very early, before reaching the top level of the Brazilian championship,” Firmino told The Independent. “That made a difference: I was not seen as a 'name' around the country.

“But I never worried too much about that. I knew I had the potential to play at a high level and that the recognition would come in a natural way. 

"Now I'm playing in one of the strongest, most important leagues in the world, I feel I have more responsibility. I'm being watched the whole time. But this gives me strength and motivates me to do a great job.”

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The Germany loss has not been forgotten, but Firmino has insisted that Brazil will put it behind them when playing in Russia next summer.

“That defeat was a really big blow to all Brazilians,” he added. “But we put it into our heads that what happened then doesn't matter anymore; it's what we do from now on that counts. 

"Clearly, it was a lesson but we now see it as extra motivation for doing our best on the pitch and bringing the glory years back to Brazil.”

Brazil's qualification campaign was impressive, Tite's side finishing comfortably in first place. 

"We have been able to restore Brazil's reputation, playing joyful football that is respected around the world," Firmino said. "That is our essence. Our players have great quality and have brought their club form to the national team.

“Professor Tite has played a big role in the Seleção's ascent. He's a brilliant coach, with a unique way of working, but he's also a marvellous person. He makes everyone feel at ease." 

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Firmino reserved praise for Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho, too. “It helps having Coutinho with me. He's a 'differential' who helps swing games. The fact we're together day to day at Liverpool means we have a good understanding, so we can use that in Brazil games. 

"Coutinho is a friend and also a great player. He's got incredible passing ability; he knows how to put attackers in on goal.”

And asked if Brazil could be considered favourites for the World Cup, Firmino added: “The word 'favourite' is very strong. A lot of responsibility comes with that [status]. Because we have won the most World Cups and have played in every edition, Brazil are always seen in that way. 

"We're among the countries who have a chance of winning and we'll do everything to get the hexacampeonato (sixth title). Confidence levels are really high now, but there's still a long road ahead of us. We've only qualified; we haven't won anything yet.”

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