‘I love it here and plan to stay for many years in the future.’
Roberto Firmino, it’s fair to say, is content with life at Liverpool.
The Brazilian's ability to combine goalscoring prowess and brilliant technique with a tireless work ethic has endeared him to the Anfield faithful, who have delighted the man himself by affectionately naming him ‘Bobby’.
Firmino was the Reds’ leading league goalscorer in 2015-16, his first season with the club, and is firmly established as a key attacking component in Jürgen Klopp’s side this term.
While the 25-year-old admits that it took him time to adjust to the rigours of Premier League football following his move from Hoffenheim 18 months ago, he now feels completely at home in England - and, more specifically, on Merseyside.
“I think I have had to change the way I play. I was adapted to European football after playing in Germany for three years but English football is very different to the Bundesliga,” Firmino says, in an interview with the latest edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine.
“You really notice that the Premier League is much, much faster - the pace is very high and you do need to adjust, but this is a type of football that I enjoy.
“Being really honest, I love it here and plan to stay for many years in the future as the Premier League is really competitive and tests you all the time.”
Firmino’s all-action, perpetual-motion style means he often pops up away from his nominal starting position up front - something he believes is down to his history of having played all over the pitch.
“When I was younger I played as a right-back. I also played as a central defender but I realised that I could dominate the ball quite calmly so I started playing further forward in front of the back four,” the No.11 explains.
“After a while I thought that I was quite offensive so when I was 17 or 18, I started playing a more forward-thinking midfielder. That’s how I eventually ended up playing in the areas like I am today.
“If it depended on me, I would play in every corner of the ground because that’s the type of player I am! But obviously it alters depending on the needs of the team.
“At the moment, I am playing up front but I can play anywhere the manager asks me to. My preference is to be inside the area, near where the goals are scored - that’s my preference!
“But my main aim is to be helpful to the team in achieving what we need to achieve.”
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