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Roberto Firmino: 'I want to be like European greats'

15 Febrero 2018
Roberto Firmino: 'I want to be like European greats'

Firmino is enjoying the acclaim and responsibility of his growing status. "If I play a good game then the goals will appear".

There is a caveat, of course.

The Brazilian, who scored the second-most number goals in the competition's group stages behind Ronaldo this year, has netted 20 times in total for the Reds this term.

These struggles magnified the midfield void created by Coutinho's departure; but it also made clear quite why the Merseyside Reds were so keen to bring forward the arrival of midfielder Naby Keita.

Boss Jurgen Klopp has been impressed by the way in which Firmino has relished the increased opportunity to show his prowess in front of goal. I also want to help myself to make a good season.

"I don't think he has stepped up but maybe it is more obvious because his situations are not overshadowed by Phil Coutinho's situations".

Liverpool's home ground Anfield
GETTYAnfield could play host to a World Cup warm-up fixture

What's all that about?

To secure a Portuguese passport, one has to have been married to their partner for at least three years - Coutinho has been married to Aine since 2012, meaning he could have done this during his time at Liverpool.

Barca believe that the Danish international can be the natural successor to veteran playmaker Andres Iniesta after the club's coaching staff dismissed internal suggestions that Philippe Coutinho could fill that role.

Coutinho, who only joined Barça from Liverpool for £142m in January, is seen as a more attack minded player and wouldn't want to be deployed solely in a centre midfield position where his talents would be stunted. I can imagine a bit because you ask me about it. I have no idea. "But people with a football brain judge him right".

Liverpool are back in Champions League action tonight as they face Porto (7.45pm). "I know it already, I don't need to look at them", he said. "Probably the strongest team in Europe at the minute is Manchester City". Now it's Porto and it's quite a hurdle we have to go over. Given the reluctance of Liverpool to get rid of Coutinho, a report from the Barca technical secretariat recommended to keep an eye on Mane. He was cautious. "I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16", he said.