The goal tally so far for Liverpool’s Champions League campaign is astonishing. Whatever the number is, it’s big. If I wasn’t typing this paragraph right now I might go look up the actual stats, but the point is the Reds scored a whole bunch of goals.
Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah each sent eleven balls into opposition nets during the competition, which no Liverpool player had done before in the Champions League. Firmino scored one of his in the qualifying rounds, giving him ten goals officially, but who’s nitpicking? I say award him a twelfth as a bonus for entertaining the whole world this season.
“Am I happy with having scored 10 goals since the start of the group stage? Very, very. Although I am a little bit annoyed, because I always want more and I am never satisfied.
“However, you cannot beat yourself up about these things all the time and you must always keep moving forward.
“It is my first season in the Champions League and I am one of the leading scorers, alongside Cristiano (Ronaldo) and Salah. This is my best year as a professional footballer.”
Firmino was a very good player when he arrived on Merseyside under Brendan Rodgers but the Brazilian has been showing up with world-class displays since Jürgen Klopp took over. Firmino is a Klopp player. He will run all day. He plays smart and always with the team. His movement at all times, with and without the ball, has been exceptional time and time again.
Real Madrid could be Firmino’s, and Liverpool’s, biggest test so far. The Spanish club are far from unbeatable and will have a nightmare dealing with Firmino and Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah but the Reds will be up against a seasoned team that will be looking to secure their third Champions League win in a row.
“We know about Real Madrid,” said Firmino. “They are always winning titles in the Champions League and in the Spanish league too. I’ve never played against them, but I’ve watched their games and they’re very competitive.
“However, this is a final; a one-off game, a one-off moment. They’ll also be up against Liverpool – a team and a club with a great pedigree. We are going to fight until the end.
“Winning the Champions League would be a unique moment. 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.
“We know the club’s history and we always aim to perform at a high level to try and continue winning trophies.”
Whatever happens in Kiev, this Liverpool team has got the mojo locked down and henceforth will continue karate kicking their way back into the upper echelon of world football. Up the dance-fighting Reds.