Players - Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino
Birthdate: 2 October 1991
Birthplace: Maceió, Brazil
Other clubs: Figueirense (2009-10), Hoffenheim (2011-2015)
Bought from: Hoffenheim
Signed for LFC: £29m, 06.07.2015
International debut: 12.11.2014 vs Turkey
International caps: 43/13 (38/11 at LFC) - 19.11.2019
Liverpool debut: 09.08.2015
Last appearance: 19.01.2020
Debut goal: 21.11.2015
Last goal: 11.01.2020
Contract expiry: 2023 (signed 29 April 2018)
Win ratio: 61.16% W:137 D:49 L:38
Games/goals ratio: 2.99
Honours: Champions League 2019, European Super Cup 2019, FIFA Club World Cup 2019
LFC league games/goals: 159 / 55
Total LFC games/goals: 224 / 75

Player Profile

Liverpool scored 49 fewer league goals in 2014/15 than in the previous season. Although a single player scored 30% of the 2013/14 total the number of players around the world who can score at that rate is very small indeed. But with Suarez gone and Daniel Sturridge so injury-prone it was clear that Liverpool needed to add more firepower to its squad given that only 74 goals were scored in all competitions in 2014/15 and that the top scorer (Gerrard) had also departed and the next-highest scorer (Sterling) seemed to be on the brink of leaving the club as the summer transfer window officially opened. Liverpool’s solution was to send CEO Ian Ayre across the Atlantic Ocean to secure the signature of Brazilian attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino before any other club appeared on the scene to hijack the deal. That only one player had cost a higher fee in the club’s history showed how serious it was about getting its man.

Firmino was born in the capital city of Brazil’s eastern state of Alagoas. He played junior football for a club in that city, Clube de Regatas Brasil, before moving south in his late-teens to represent Figueirense Futebol Clube. Despite its remote location and the difficulty that comes with it of attracting new players, this club has achieved decent enough finishes in its recent history in the country’s top division despite never seriously threatening the regular success of the big city clubs. Firmino made his debut for Figueirense towards the end of 2009 as the club tried to make an immediate return to Serie A following relegation in 2008. A year later Roberto’s eight goals from thirty-six appearances helped to secure promotion and he actually played in over fifty first-team matches during that calendar year.

Shortly after his 19th birthday Firmino took the route to Europe that so many of his countrymen had made before him by signing for German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. His original contract ran until the end of June 2015 but this was later extended by a further two years and this extension was crucial in determining the massive fee that Liverpool would have to pay to secure his services. He arrived in Germany at the mid-point of a domestic season and therefore did not make his Bundesliga debut until a home fixture against Mainz towards the end of February 2011. By the end of the season he had scored three times in eleven league matches as Hoffenheim finished in eleventh place, a finishing position they repeated in 2012 before narrowing escaping relegation in 2013. Firmino scored twice and made the other goal in his team’s crucial 3-1 home leg victory over Kaiserslautern in the relegation play-offs.

2013/14 was a huge season for both the player and his club. The club improved its finishing position by seven places and the player, by now a regular starter in the team, only missed one league match and scored sixteen goals with a further six coming from four matches in the German Cup, including a hat-trick in the first round against Aumund-Vegesack. This was the form which inevitably brought him to the attention of his country’s selectors and iconic former player Dunga, a World Cup winner in 1994, called him up for friendly matches against Turkey and Austria late in 2014; and he scored the winning goal in Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Austria in Vienna. He also scored the winning goal when Brazil faced Chile at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium at the end of March 2015 and was unsurprisingly a member of Brazil’s 2015 Copa América squad, where his goal against Venezuela in Santiago ensured that his country topped its group and progressed safely to the quarter-finals.

Former players and respected journalists alike have been queuing up to lavish praise on Liverpool’s new recruit. Legendary player Ronaldinho, with nearly a century of senior appearances for Brazil behind him, expressed the opinion that: "For Liverpool to have Coutinho and Firmino is a big achievement for them. It is going to give them one of the most exciting midfielders in Europe. The creativity, intelligence and goals they have between them can change Liverpool as a team. It is a big sign of intent. It is a dream for the Liverpool strikers to have that sort of service. They will create so many chances." This surely is the crux of Liverpool’s purchase. The number of goals both created and scored needs to rise if the club is to become serious challengers for the major prizes again. Nearly fifty goals and almost as many assists in the tough, competitive world of German football make the anticipation of Roberto Firmino doing well at his second European club very exciting indeed.

Firmino started slowly at Liverpool, struggling to live up to the price tag but after Jürgen Klopp arrived as manager his performances improved and according to various stats sources he was the most effective Premiership player in the second half of the season in respect of goal involvement (scored and assists combined). He scored a respectable ten goals in 31 league appearances but perhaps his most important goal was the second at home to Manchester United in the Europa League. At the end of the season, it was a surprise that he was not called up to the Brazil squad for the Copa America. Firmino continued to impress in 2016/17 when he became an integral part of the side, scoring eleven goals in 35 games playing across the front line, enjoying an almost telepathic understanding with Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane.

2017/18 was even better for Firmino, who took the number 9 as his squad number with Mo Salah coming in at 11. Playing as a centre forward he scored 26 goals in all competitions, eleven of them in the Champions League. He played in all bar one of the Premier League games and was named in Brazil's World Cup squad where he only appeared as substitute in four out of five matches. Firmino committed himself to 2023 at the end of April 2018 by signing a five-year contract that is said to earn him £180,000 a week. “It was an easy decision,” said the Brazilian. “The club have taken me in in an incredible way and I’ve grown a lot here with my work with the support of the whole team. I am very happy here. Everything fits in the best possible way. My teammates are fantastic and I am grateful to be able to play with them at this club. I love to play for Liverpool FC. The fans are excellent and fantastic in how they support us all the way.”

Although not as prolific in goalscoring terms, 2018/19 was another hugely successful campaign for Firmino. He remained first-choice centre forward and came off the bench twice as Liverpool trailed in domestic cup ties. His late strike to secure Paris St Germain at Anfield in the opening group stage game of the Champions League proved to be crucial as the Reds only progressed on goal difference before going on to lift the trophy. Firmino scored 16 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions and was called up to Brazil's squad for the Copa America which was taking place on home soil and he proved successful there as well, scoring twice in six matches.
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 159 5 10 47 3 224
2015-2016 31 0 5 13 0 49
2016-2017 35 2 4 0 0 41
2017-2018 37 2 0 15 0 54
2018-2019 34 1 1 12 0 48
2019-2020 22 0 0 7 3 32
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Total Opponent
13 Manchester City
12 Manchester United
10 Southampton
10 Leicester City
10 Bournemouth
9 Crystal Palace
9 Arsenal
9 Everton
9 Tottenham
9 Chelsea
8 Watford
8 Stoke City
7 West Ham United
6 Newcastle United
6 Burnley
5 Swansea City
5 Brighton & Hove Albion
4 Sunderland
4 Wolves
4 Porto
4 Napoli
3 Sevilla
3 Huddersfield Town
3 Norwich City
2 Aston Villa
2 Cardiff City
2 Hull City
2 Sheffield United
2 Middlesbrough
2 Fulham
2 Bayern Munich
2 Red Star Belgrade
2 Roma
2 Borussia Dortmund
2 Spartak Moscow
2 Villarreal
2 NK Maribor
2 Genk
2 Hoffenheim
2 Salzburg
2 Rubin
2 Augsburg
2 Paris St Germain
1 CF Monterrey
1 Bordeaux
1 Burton Albion
1 Sion
1 Barcelona
1 Real Madrid
1 Flamengo
1 Carlisle United
1 Derby
1 Plymouth Argyle
Total Started/substitutions
194 Started
3 On the bench
30 Substitute
108 Substituted
Total Competition
159 England Premier League
33 Champions League
13 Europa League
10 League Cup
5 FA Cup
2 World Club Championship
1 Community Shield
1 European Super Cup
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 55 1 1 16 2 75
2015-2016 10 0 0 1 0 11
2016-2017 11 0 1 0 0 12
2017-2018 15 1 0 11 0 27
2018-2019 12 0 0 4 0 16
2019-2020 7 0 0 0 2 9
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 09.08.2015 Stoke City Britannia St. League
50 14.08.2016 Arsenal Emirates Stadium League
100 26.09.2017 Spartak Moscow Otkrytiye Arena Europe
150 18.09.2018 Paris St Germain Anfield Europe
200 17.09.2019 Napoli San Paolo Europe
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 32 21.11.2015 Manchester City Etihad Stadium League
50 69 24.04.2018 Roma Anfield Europe
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Figueirense 2008-2009 Brazil 2 2 0 2 0
Figueirense 2009-2010 Brazil 2 36 8 51 12
Hoffenheim 2010-2011 Germany 1 11 3 11 3
Hoffenheim 2011-2012 Germany 1 30 7 33 7
Hoffenheim 2012-2013 Germany 1 33 5 36 7
Hoffenheim 2013-2014 Germany 1 33 16 37 22
Hoffenheim 2014-2015 Germany 1 33 7 36 10
Total 178 46 206 61