It’s been a breakout season for Roberto Firmino, with the striker having paid back Jürgen Klopp’s faith in him having the ability to lead the line for Liverpool with 27 goals, 17 assists, and tireless work both on and off the ball.
That the Reds are in the final of the Champions League now is, perhaps more than any other player in this talented and hard-working side, because of him. Now, with just one game left to play, he wants to finish the season on a high note.
“This year is my best year as a professional footballer, [but] I am still a little bit restless as I always want more,” Liverpool’s number nine told UEFA in a break from preparations for next weekend’s final against Real Madrid.
“It’s a very special trophy. If we’re fortunate enough to be able to win it, it will be a very emotional moment for me and the whole team. Of course we dreamed big—I dream big and our whole team had that dream.
“We’ve had to win matches, go step by step, and put in a lot of work to reach the final. Now that we are in the final we also must remain focused. We know about Real Madrid. They are a great team and are very tough to play against.”
Madrid are a certainly going to be a tough team to face, and as defending Champions and 12-time winners of the competition they will rightly head in as favourites. What they won’t be, though, is heavy favourites.
Liverpool, too, have proven that while they might yet lack the depth needed to sustain a domestic title challenge, they have the talent to beat any side in Europe, and the statistical model at 538 rates the final a near-tossup.
For the Reds to win, though, they need to be at their best. And that means Firmino has to be at his best. Given his season so far and how well he’s played when the games have mattered most, there’s every reason to believe he and the team will be.
“This is a final and a one-off game, a one-off moment,” he added. “They’ll also be up against, in Liverpool, a team and a club with a great pedigree. We are going to fight until the end.”