Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa not ready to discuss future after Club World Cup loss

The striker has been linked with a move back to Europe after impressing in two loan spells in Brazil

Gabriel Barbosa was unwilling to discuss his future just yet after Flamengo’s Club World Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Barbosa played 120 minutes as Flamengo suffered a 1-0 extra-time loss to the European champions in Doha.

The forward is on loan from Inter, but that deal expires at the end of the year and the 23-year-old has been linked with a move to West Ham in January.

With several clubs looking to pounce, Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said in November that Barbosa was unlikely to be a part of his side’s project moving forward.

Speaking after the defeat, Barbosa said he would eventually reveal his future.

“We played as equals against Liverpool. We had some chances to score. We obviously suffered, but now I’m on vacation,” he said.

“I will enjoy this and slowly talk about my future.”

Roberto Firmino’s 99th-minute goal was all that separated Liverpool and Flamengo at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Barbosa praised his team’s performance despite the loss, saying they had their opportunities.

“I think we had a great game, we had a chance to score and we didn’t, but we played and fought against a great team,” he said.

“Obviously we didn’t get the goals but we created chances and until the last minute they ended up scoring. It was a great game.”

Barbosa scored 43 goals in 59 games in all competitions for Flamengo after joining on loan in January this year.

The striker had a difficult initial spell in European football, struggling to make an impact with Inter after signing in 2016 before also failing to perform in a loan spell at Benfica. 

A move back to his native Brazil with Santos reignited Barbosa career, and he continued to shine with Flamengo. 

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Earlier this month, Barbosa said he would like to link up with his fellow Brazilian Firmino at Liverpool, calling the striker “an inspiration.”

“He is a powerful forward and he has been great for Brazil. He is an inspiration that I look up to,” Barbosa said of Firmino.

“It would be a pleasure to play with him. Maybe we could team up for Brazil in the future and Liverpool is a team that everyone wants to play for.”

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