After a season that saw him grow into Liverpool's most exciting and consistent attacking player, it was clear that Philippe Coutinho needed to provide the creative midfielder with further support over the summer. They managed to do so in spectacular fashion earlier this week, securing the signature of international teammate Roberto Firmino, who has proven himself one of the Bundesliga's brightest talents over the past few seasons. The duo have linked up for Brazil over the past year multiple times, and now, to the delight of Liverpool supporters, they'll be joining forces in Red later this summer.
There haven't been any direct quotes from the new boy just yet, which makes sense given that there's business left to be done in Chile before his move to Merseyside becomes official. His teammate for club and country briefly shared his thoughts, however, noting the forward's qualities on the pitch and his excitement at welcoming Firmino into the Liverpool family:
"I think it is great news. Firmino is a great player and obviously I know him from the Brazilian national team. He is a great character and person. He is strong physically, he is fast, agile, very skilful on the ball and he scores a lot of goals - he is a great forward. I am sure he will be of great help to us next season. After hearing the news, I said to him ‘welcome to Liverpool' and I have told him that he will be coming into a club that is like a family - I made sure to tell him that. I have also wished him a great and very successful first season at Liverpool."
They should have a chance to further their understanding in Brazil's quarterfinal matchup with Paraguay, which kicks off later this afternoon in Concepción (10:30PM BST/5:30PM EST). The two side have some history in the competition, with Paraguay emerging victorious in the 2011 quarterfinals via shootout after having drawn in the group stages. Brazil are favorites here, but Paraguay managed an impressive fight-back against Argentina for a draw in the opener before defeating Jamaica and earning a 1-1 draw with Uruguay.
Elsewhere, Emre Can will look to extend his time with the German U21s in the Czech Republic, where he'll start in the midfield against the Portugal U21s (5:00PM BST/12:00PM EST). Can has proven one of the standouts at the tournament, earning praise for a string of strong performances in the middle of the park. Tiago Ilori, who came off early against Sweden earlier in the week, is fit enough to start for the Portuguese, and while it will be nice to see him back in action, such a quick return is cause for concern given his fitness concerns throughout the last two seasons.
As usual, a full rundown of the day's games--which also includes two Women's World Cup quarterfinals, with Australia facing Japan (9:00PM BST/4:00PM EST) and host nation Canada squaring off against England (12:30AM BST/7:30PM EST)--and viewing options can be found at LiveSoccerTV, and as a reminder, archived open threads can be found in the Sections menu at the top of every page.