Brazil World Cup winner Luizao laments striker dearth

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-06 08:54:20|Editor: huaxia

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Brazil World Cup winner Luizao has bemoaned a perceived dearth of center forwards in the South American country, saying a dependence on second-strikers is hurting the Selecao's fortunes.

Brazil has a rich tradition of central strikers but, according to Luizao, the five-time world champions have not had a reliable No. 9 since Adriano ended his international career in 2010.

"I follow the youth teams and there is a lack of center forwards coming through the ranks," Luizao was quoted as saying by the UOL news service on Sunday.

He said Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus and Liverpool's Roberto Firmino cannot be considered out-and-out strikers.

"Brazil doesn't have a center forward right now," said Luizao, who was a member of Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad that won the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

"We don't have a striker and it's something that we really miss," he added. "Gabriel Jesus and Firmino didn't start their careers as center forwards. They have adapted. I also see Gabigol [Gabriel Barbosa] as a second striker, not a 9. He is similar to Edmundo in that regard."