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Fabinho Speaks on Coach Who Changed His Career

Much like Caoimhin Kelleher started as a striker before a bold decision was made, Fabinho had to shift around to CDMimhin Kellehe

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abinho of Liverpool competing with Arturo Vidal of FC Internazionale during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale at Anfield on March 08, 2022 in Liverpool, England.
abinho of Liverpool competing with Arturo Vidal of FC Internazionale during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale at Anfield on March 08, 2022 in Liverpool, England.
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Leonardo Jardim, Fabinho’s coach at Monaco, made a bold positioning decision with the Brazilian early on in his career — and Liverpool are reaping the benefits.

While Reds would argue that Fabinho is one of the best in the world at his position, being a defensive midfielder wasn’t always the plan. Speaking to FourFourTwo recently, Fabinho explained how his current role came to be: the best in t

He was a very important coach in my career. My first season with him at Monaco [2014-15], I still mainly played as a full-back, but then in a few games he started pushing me into midfield.

I remember him asking me during pre-season if I’d ever played in that position and I told him I had, so he played me there in a friendly and I was the best player on the pitch.

Then, before the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Jardim called me for a chat and told me, ‘Listen, I’ve signed Djibril Sidibe to play in your role – from now on, I want you to play as a defensive midfielder.’

Considering my situation with the national team, plus the smaller pool of top-quality full-backs, I thought it was a negative change.

It was tough. Everybody knew me as a full-back and I was a regular for the national team there – my agents, and I suppose me to begin with, weren’t happy at all with the situation. I accepted the challenge because I knew I could adapt.

Looking back, though, that was a life-changing moment. Jardim helped me a lot, and that season we won the Ligue 1 title and reached the Champions League semi-finals. I was in the form of my life and ended up moving to Liverpool as a midfielder.

It definitely proved to be the right decision.

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