In the past five years, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side have done superbly to etch their names onto the history books of the English club as one of the best teams to have represented the Reds. From his appointment in 2014 to their FA Cup win this season, the Merseyside team has gone on to win six trophies including a Champions League title and a Premier League title.
While the Reds were able to conjure up a winning team all around, it was the clinical front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino that led from the front and were decisive in ensuring the success seen recently.
There has been no stopping Salah or Mane as the forwards have made a name for themselves as decisive goal scorers, netting more than 200 goals together in all competitions since the 2017/18 season that saw the formation of the new attack. However, despite not generating the same numbers as his teammates, Firmino has gained equal importance in Liverpool’s attack due to his specific role.
Perhaps in a similar role as Karim Benzema in Real Madrid’s legendary ‘BBC’ trio, Liverpool’s Brazilian forward helped to free up space for Salah and Mane and connected the trio to function efficiently in transitions. During Liverpool’s Premier League-winning campaign in 2019/20, no player set up Salah in front of goal more than Firmino (9 times) as the centre-forward put on display with great success his specific role in the attacking trio.
Firmino’s selfless role in the attack has been appreciated by his manager who famously remarked that “people will ‘write books’ about the way he interprets the false-nine position.” In this context, it becomes no surprise that Mo Salah has picked the Brazilian as his favourite Liverpool player to play alongside, during an interview hosted by Vodafone Egypt.
The Egyptian met up with school students in Egypt as part of an initiative between the Vodafone Foundation and the UNHCR where Salah was asked about his favourite teammate to play with by one of the students. Salah wasted no time in picking Firmino.
In the present, with the additions of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, Firmino has gone down the pecking order for Jurgen Klopp. But just as Salah’s comments have revealed, the Brazilian has already left his mark at the club due to his service for the club’s attack that aided Liverpool kick-start a successful era for which the club are reaping the rewards at the moment.