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“Bobby means Liverpool” – Fabinho’s tribute to Roberto Firmino ahead of final game

Fabinho has added to the endless tributes for Roberto Firmino ahead of his last opportunity to feature for the Reds this weekend.

The midfielder joined Liverpool shortly after defeat in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv and has spent five years of his career with his fellow countryman.

Firmino said an emotional farewell to Anfield in the Reds’ final home game of the campaign against Aston Villa, coming off the bench to score a late equaliser in front of the Kop.

Speaking ahead of the curtain-closer against Southampton, Fabinho was full of praise for the departing forward and admitted that the entire squad will miss his presence when he has gone.

“We all will miss Bobby. You can see how special he is for the fans, for us the players. For me personally, he was really important for me since my arrival at the club, the way he welcomed me, he helped me to adapt in the club, in the city,” the 29-year-old told the club’s official website.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (C) celebrates with team-mates Fábio Carvalho (L) and Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (R) after scoring the seventh goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I didn’t expect this moment to arrive because for me Bobby means Liverpool but unfortunately we have to say goodbye to him and I just wish the best for him and his family.”

Four players will leave Anfield upon the expiry of their contracts this summer, with James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joining Firmino in bringing their Liverpool careers to an end after the trip to Saint Mary’s.

It also brings to a close a difficult campaign for the Reds on the pitch, but seven wins from the last eight fixtures have given the side renewed hope heading into 2023/24.

Fabinho admitted that there have been few things to shout about from a Liverpool perspective but praised the impact of Stefan Bajcetic, who took his place in the side after the World Cup while the Brazilian grappled with form.

“Unfortunately, overall it wasn’t our best season, many ups and downs in the season. Before the World Cup we had some injuries that didn’t help the team,” he continued.

“In general I think we can take positive things from the season – some players stepped up, had the opportunity and played really well. It’s the case of Stefan Bajcetic.”

It has been a difficult campaign from both an individual and collective standpoint for Fabinho in 2022/23, but both his and the team’s performances have taken a turn for the better in recent weeks.

Liverpool’s No. 3 will be hoping that trend continues beyond the summer, where the Reds will look to bounce back from a turbulent campaign to compete for all of the major honours once again.