Liverpool News: Firmino talks Salah, Racism & Coutinho
Cries of ‘Bobby Firmino’ can be heard ringing around the Anfield terraces as the Brazilian continues to dazzle under the lights on English football.
There is no doubt that Roberto Firmino is in the best form of his career and with a World Cup on the horizon, Liverpool’s Brazilian reflected on his season so far at Anfield. The crowd favourite has netted 23 goals so far this campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side in what has been his best goals return for the 26 year-old.
He is adored by Liverpool fans and has been a hit on Merseyside following his £29 million move from Hoffenheim in 2015. He took time to settle to life in England, but there is no doubt that he has found a new home in Liverpool and his stock continues to rise both in the Premier League and afar.
This season, Firmino has struck up a formidable partnership with both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to form one of the most feared attacking trios in world football. At the start of the campaign, Firmino was handed the number nine jersey and he has certainly proved he is no slouch leading the attack in a transition that has seen him flourish from 'false nine' to genuine number nine for Jurgen Klopp.
Salah netted his 36th goal of the season at the weekend and provided Firmino with an assist for his 23rd goal, taking their combined tally to an astronomical 59 goals between the pair. Firmino and Salah's efforts have helped move Klopp's side into the top three in the Premier League, while they also have a Champions League quarter-final meeting with Manchester City to look forward to in April as their chemistry goes from strength to strength.
Despite the Egyptian taking all of the headlines, Firmino is pleased with his contribution to the cause, insisting he is in the best form of his career.
The Liverpool No.9 told Goal.com: "It's the best moment of my career. I'm happy because things are very positive in my life; on the personal side and also on the professional side. "The good moment our team is in helps a lot too, the team fits together very well. Klopp is a great tactician, and a great coach."
When asked if he felt added pressure as Liverpool's No.9 in light of Salah's remarkable tally, he said: "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."
Questions were raised in January when Liverpool parted with their prised asset, Philippe Coutinho and how they would cope in his absence. Following his record-breaking £142 million move to Barcelona, Liverpool have not looked back.
Firmino was a close friend of Coutinho during his time on Merseyside and he was sad to see his Brazilian compatriot move on. He said: "We changed the way we played after his exit. Which team in the world would not like to have a player of the quality of Coutinho? But he continued his life at Barcelona and Liverpool remained strong, as we always were.”
He added: "I do not dwell on that. I just worry about playing well and helping Liverpool go as far as possible in the Premier League.
"If that is achieved by me scoring goals, even better. Thank God, the goals are coming! Winning the title is difficult this season, so we will fight to secure a Champions League place again. That's one of the goals."
The success has not come without it's fair share of trials and tribulations for the popular Brazilian. In January, Firmino was accused of racism following a fiery altercation in the Merseyside Derby with Everton defender, Mason Holgate.
The Football Association investigated the incident, but the forward was cleared of any wrongdoing in February. Holgate alleged that Firmino made a racist comment towards him during Liverpool's 2-1 win at Anfield but following an investigation, the FA has confirmed they will not take any action.
"Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino," read a statement on the FA's official website.
Reflecting on the incident, Firmino said: "I always felt calm about it because I knew I had not said what they were accusing me of," "I have suffered racial prejudice and I know how painful it is. People need to take this issue more seriously and engage in this fight against racism."
For the time being, Firmino is focused on the fight for a top four spot in the Premier League with Liverpool and a push for Champions League glory. Find out how the Brazilian performs between now and the end of the season with Liverpool tickets available to buy online today!