As you may know, dear reader, I am quite the admirer of Roberto Firmino. You may know him as Bobby Dazzler, or possibly Bobby Digital. No matter what you call him, the man with the megawatt smile (literally) does it all on the field, and he does it with style.
Opposing fans and certain pundits seem not to understand the importance of the Brazilian number nine, and seem baffled when Liverpool fans and players laud Firmino. Ballon D’Or finalist, top defender, and absolute unit Virgil van Dijk gets it. When asked by talkSPORT who the best player he has ever played with, the Dutch colossus responded had this to say:
“I’m going to be a little bit biased and say one of my team-mates; I would say Roberto Firmino.”
Today’s game against Arsenal was a prime example of what Liverpool fans love about Roberto Firmino. He didn’t technically make it on the score sheet, but he provided the pass to Mohamed Salah that lead to a penalty kick. Firmino also earned, in this writer’s opinion, a stone cold penalty that was waved off. He was a constant threat with his movement off the ball creating angles and pulling defenders out of place. He was all over the field putting in the dirty work on the defensive side of the ball, including a 60 yard run to track a runner and ultimately break up a counterattack. And when Bobby got the ball, he dazzled us with his skills.
After seeing this flick and attempted volley, the best I could do was emit a series of high pitched squeals that only my dogs and possibly a passing pod of dolphins could hear, followed up by some unintelligible gibbering. Bobby makes magic, and we are all the better for it.
It’s gotten to the point that when Firmino receives the ball, I begin to hold my breath. You just know this could be another one of those moments when he pulls off something audacious, something that may or may not defy the laws of physics.
This is what makes Firmino so special. He’s a rare combination of graft, skill, style, and swagger. He’s the engine that makes Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing work, and he has the confidence and technique to pull off some truly mind-bending skills. He scores, he provides, he presses, and he smiles. He creates moments of magic that leave us all breathless.
Si senor, Bobby Firmino is the player I adore.