10.12.2011, easy Credit Stadion, Nuernberg, GER, 1.FBL, 1. FC Nürnberg/ Nuernberg vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, im Bild:Timmy Simons (Nuernberg #2) im Zweikampf mit Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim #22). // during the Match GER, 1.FBL, 1. FC Nürnberg/ Nuernberg vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 2011/12/10, easy Credit Stadion, Nuernberg, Germany..EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Will..***** ATTENTION - OUT OF GER, CRO *****

Roberto Firmino: Ronaldinho, Hamann and Liverpool players welcome Brazilian star

The signing of Roberto Firmino has boosted morale of Liverpool supporters and players alike, with a host of big names welcoming his arrival on Merseyside.


Liverpool’s new £29 million signing, Roberto Firmino, stirred excitement around Merseyside on Wednesday, with the club announcing his move from Hoffenheim to rapturous response.

Firmino, 23, is set to take up a focal role in Brendan Rodgers’ attack, as he has for Brazil in this summer’s Copa America.

Former Brazil star Ronaldinho expressed his joy at Firmino’s Anfield switch.

“For Liverpool to have [Philippe] Coutinho and [Roberto] Firmino is a big achievement for them. It is going to give them one of the most exciting midfields in Europe,” the 35-year-old said.

“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.”

Last season Coutinho (58) and Firmino (69) created over a third (127) of the amount of chances the rest of the Liverpool squad managed (377), so Ronaldinho is right to be excited about seeing the pair combine in a Reds shirt.

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann was another to welcome Firmino’s move, speaking to the Liverpool Echo.

Hamann said: “I’ve seen a lot of Firmino and he’s a player I like a lot. He’s Brazilian but he has played in Germany for a number of years and I’ve been impressed by how he has developed.

“I’ve spoken to people who have worked with him and they say he won’t be bullied. He has got more of a European than a Brazilian mentality.

“He is very skilful but he also has the strength and the mentality to survive in the Premier League.”

The ex-Germany international compared Firmino to former Manchester City team-mate Elano, and said he is a different breed to Coutinho:

“Physically, he’s stronger than Coutinho and he’s more direct. When he travels with the ball, he can beat a player one vs. one.

“Coutinho and Adam Lallana like to set things out and bring others into play. But Firmino is more direct and he will look to finish himself…I think he might be more effective out wide for Liverpool. I think he will be more effective than a Coutinho out there.”

Hamann concluded by describing Firmino’s signing as a “statement of intent,” saying: “This is the type of signing to pick the fans up and make them look forward with optimism.”

This optimism has seemingly spread to Firmino’s new team-mates, with Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge all welcoming him from Hoffenheim.

Can said, “I am looking forward to playing with him. He will help us greatly with his qualities,” while Henderson and Sturridge took to social media:

Signing Firmino has clearly captured the imaginations of everyone at Liverpool—the 23-year-old has brought a timely boost of morale as Rodgers’ side look to build for 2015/16.