It was nearly an incredible assist. Roberto Firmino pulled off a rabona to slide Sadio Mané in with a shot on Genk’s goal. The ball was saved by the goalkeeper but the moment is another fantastic reminder of the level of wild freedom that Bobby is playing with right now. It’s been well covered that Firmino is the secret sauce at Liverpool but the Brazilian’s creative output just seems to keep on expanding.
Sadio Mané, being the one to receive the rabona ball on Wednesday night, had a front row seat to Firmino’s amazing pass. Thinking back on it, Mané wasn’t surprised at all by Firmino’s seeming audacity to pull off tricks at the edge of the opposition’s box. And the reason is that Firmino’s talent for building something out of nothing is well known at Liverpool.
“It was really, really great skill from Bobby,” Mané saids. “I was trying to score but the defender was behind me and I lost my step because he pushed me a bit. That’s why it was a little bit complicated for me to score the goal.
“You can’t expect it because you don’t know him. I know him very well, I’m training with him every single day and I know his quality, I know what he can do. I’m never surprised, I’m just looking forward to it all the time on the pitch.
“He’s doing it very well – for me, for Mo and for all the other players.
“He’s a really great player. All credit to Bobby. People are seeing it now, but the staff and team – everybody – were happy with Bobby because he’s always sacrificing himself for the team.
“He’s doing well, scoring, giving assists and working hard for the team. It’s good people appreciate him now – like it should be.”
Firmino’s enjoyment of working for the team’s cause is easy to see. Jürgen Klopp gives the player the job of being everywhere and doing everything, Firmino does all that and then does a little magic trick just for fun.
The Brazilian hasn’t been in the headlines as much as Mané and Mohamed Salah but the whole place is starting to understand the effort and skill that Bobby displays on the pitch every week.
All this nice guy stuff we’ve got going on is giving me the good Lucas Leiva vibes. That Monopoly night mojo but add to it being Champions League winners and current leaders in the Premier League table. Boing.