Roberto Firmino is one of the players who are unlikely to lose their spot for the World Cup. Showing good form for Liverpool and Brazil, the 26-year-old has practically convinced Tite that he deserves at least a place on the bench, even if some in the Brazil media have doubts.
Ahead of the next two friendlies against Japan and England, the striker has spoken to Brazilian outlet UOL about his form and the change in his career in the past couple of years.
Firmino used to be a secondary striker, but has now been playing mostly as a centre forward, so was quizzed about this new role: “I think the manager’s job is to find the best position for the athletes he has in the squad. We have more players on the wings, like Mané and Salah, besides Philippe Coutinho, who plays a role of coming from behind. Klopp has been using this formation a lot and it worked. I hope the goals keep coming and Liverpool keep winning games.”
Regarding the number of goals he’s scored this season, which makes the best mark of his career, the player couldn’t find a special reason for it: “It’s difficult to define a specific reason for a good moment. I’m entering my third season for Liverpool and with each passing year I feel more comfortable, more at home, and this is very positive for me. Having the opportunity to work with Klopp was very good for my development. He is a manager who demands a lot, has a lot of experience and understands a lot about football.”
And Firmino had more to say about the Liverpool manager: “Klopp is a fantastic guy. He has that different way of celebrating the goals, he’s quite agitated, but he is an incredible person. Liverpool got it right when they brought him here and certainly this club growth in recent seasons goes right through him. I hope that at the end of the season we can celebrate a title together to celebrate this excellent work developed by him.”
Regarding Gabriel Jesus, Firmino was asked if there’s a chance he could ‘steal’ his starting place in the national team, but gave quite an evasive answer: “Gabriel Jesus is another great talent that Brazilian football has revealed in recent years. He came here to Manchester City with personality, dealt well with the pressure of playing in one of the most competitive leagues in the world and has been performing on the pitch with both City’s shirt and the national team. He is a golden boy and deserves all the success he has been getting.”