Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino wants to play every minute of every game. It’s hardly an unusual statement for a professional footballer, perhaps, but more than most, Firmino seems a player who thrives on playing and to excel when the games begin to pile up.
It’s no surprise, then, that he’s looking forward to playing in the Champions League next season; to regularly playing two games a week after a season in which Liverpool found themselves out of Europe entirely. Because for Firmino, more football is always better.
“Last seaosn it was sad that we had no European games,” said Liverpool’s recently anointed number nine. “But we worked hard, and now we’re really looking forward to them next season. We’ll have more games to play—but I would play twice a week if I could.”
It wasn’t simple or straightforward, though, getting back into the Champions League. Firmino, though, thinks in retrospect some of the struggles, some of those twists and turns to their season, made it like a “good book.” One that, in the end, had a good ending to it.
Now, though, they prepare to start another one, looking to push on with a few key big signings to prove that their autumn run last season that saw them for a time lead the league was no fluke. That the talent to push for the title is there and, last year, only depth was lacking.
Firmino, at least, believes they can do that; that the team is heading in the right direction. And it won’t be long now before the first pre-season match, against Tranmere on the July 12th, and then not long after that before the first league game, against Watford on August 12th.
“The team is moving in the right direction,” he added. “There were lots of twists and turns along the way [last season] as we fought to the very last game against Middlesbrough to get the right outcome.”