Liverpool fans will get a chance to see new signing Roberto Firmino in action tomorrow as Brazil take on Paraguay in the quarter-finals of this year's Copa América. They'll also be eager to find out whatever they can about the 23-year-old's character, playing style, personal history, trials, and successes--anything that provides insight into the mind of a player who could be crucial in a resurgence next season.
Didi Hamann spoke highly of a player with "more of a European than a Brazilian mentality" to underline how the player "won't be bullied" in England. However, with so many Brazilian players rising to the top of the world's most popular sport, there may be something in the Brazilian approach to the game. The physical aspect of the game, of course, is greater in Germany and England than in Brazil. Babbel interestingly described the fee for the Brazilian international as "brutal" but was under no doubts about the strength of Firmino's character.
When I heard that I flinched, because even for Liverpool that is not chicken feed. He is under a certain pressure with this weight on his shoulders. He is an atypical Brazilian, more German than many Germans. Roberto is disciplined, has enormous assertiveness. Roberto does not complain when he is fouled. He is not an actor, he stands up again. That is beneficial in England, because that is what English fans like to see.
Roberto Firmino has developed a reputation as a hard-working individual on the field with an appetite for harrying, tracking back. winning the ball, and competing. Liverpool should be able to count on these qualities alongside players with a similar attitude in Danny Ings, James Milner, and Nathaniel Clyne. All four players are known for their effort on the field, and the stardust expected from the former Hoffenheim player will be accompanied by a toughness that could serve Liverpool well for the immediate future and beyond.