Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Roberto Firmino should not be compared to Salah

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 20 Mar 2018

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Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino was recently asked if he felt pressure to keep up with the goal scoring of Reds teammate Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian winger has now scored 36 goals in all competitions this season.

The question came from a reporter from Goal. The Brazilian international answered by saying “No way! We have very good chemistry here at Liverpool.

“Many speak of the strength of our attack, which also has (Sadio) Mane, but we have a team full of great quality that is effective in attack.

“We have to think collectively. The more players score, the better. Liverpool are the ones who win in this situation.”

The above statement seems to sum up the selfless nature of a footballer who it appears is not a big fan of the limelight.

Firmino is a great foil for Salah

Roberto Firmino is the focal point of the Reds attack. The 26-year-old is experiencing his best season in a Liverpool shirt, having scored 22 goals and produced seven assists in all competitions, which is a pretty good record from 39 appearances.

In fact, you do feel he would receive more praise if it were for the extraordinary goalscoring of his Liverpool teammate Salah. However, Firmino is a great foil for the Egyptian international and a highly effective team player. In a Jurgen Klopp team, the main frontman is not just a goalscorer but also a provider and Firmino is that.

Unlikely to start at this summer’s World Cup

Roberto Firmino seems to have very little support in his home country when it comes to the Selecao. In fact, it has only been in the last few months that Firmino has gained any sort of popularity in Brazil.

The reason for the lukewarm attitude towards the striker seems to be due Firmino playing such little of his professional career in Serie A.

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is likely to start the World Cup as the first choice central striker for the Selecao, with the South Americans one of the favourites to lift the trophy at odds of 9/2.

However, the City youngster has only just returned from injury and has been in and out of the team at City this season. Jesus has scored just 11 goals compared to his Liverpool counterpart, granted the youngster has played fewer games this season.

Jesus is considered the latest wonder boy of Brazilian football, which means that Brazil boss Tite is also likely to pick him ahead of Firmino. Even former Everton and Manchester City flop Jo is seemingly ahead of Firmino in the pecking order.

Firmino continues to be underrated

While Mohamed Salah quietly rightly continues to receive praise for his performances, seemingly everybody but Liverpool fans continually underrates Firmino. It is harsh on a very talented and intelligent footballer.

When he arrived in the Premier League from Hoffenheim, I remember being excited by his arrival even if it was signing for them! I had seen Firmino play in the Bundesliga and he looked like a player that had great potential and cleverness in his play.

At Liverpool, Firmino is playing under a boss in Jurgen Klopp who appreciates what he brings to the team. The 26-year-old is a Klopp type of striker who is fluid and intelligent enough with his movement to aid his teammates in scoring goals.

Mohamed Salah will no doubt continue to score goals and chase both the Premier League and European Golden Boot. Firmino comes across as the sort of player and person that will do everything he can to assist his teammate to achieve his goals because he is not selfish and is a top professional.

Does Roberto Firmino deserve more credit?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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