With three league games still to go and, if Liverpool get the right result in Rome next week, two in Europe, Roberto Firmino says this has already been his best season. But it’s not over yet, and there’s a chance for it to end up a truly special one.
“I’m really happy for the season and it’s my best one to date, but it’s not over,” Firmino told The Liverpool Echo this week. “There are big games still to come. So I hope that I can continue like this, carry on improving and giving my all on the pitch.
“Personally I’ve been working hard to make this happen, and I’ve been doing things right and I’ve been improving. I want to get to the Champions League final, and we are going to fight to the end to achieve this while we still can.”
It’s an achievement few would have predicted at the start of the year but, as the team has come together—and as Firmino has proven any lingering doubters wrong—it has come to seem if not likely than at least possible.
And after their demolition of Porto, lopsided two-legged victory over Manchester City, and first leg semi-final fireworks and 5-2 advantage over Roma heading into the second leg, this is a side Firmino believes is starting to get a little respect.
“We’ve gradually become a team that people are respecting,” he said, “and I hope that things can carry on like this. And in the Premier League we want to end the season as strongly as we can and hopefully finish as runners-up.”
Runners-up in England and carrying on their winning ways in Europe—where they haven’t yet lost a match—would certainly cement that respect. For the team as a whole and Firmino’s role in it as irreplaceable false nine, too.