Former Ballon d’Or winner and all-round football legend Ronaldinho has heaped praise on a Brazilian Liverpool star – but for once – it’s not Coutinho receiving support from his countrymen.
Instead, the ex-Barcelona playmaker has lauded Roberto Firmino, claiming our no.11 is ‘in the same class as Ozil, Silva and Iniesta’!
“I didn’t ever question if he would be a great player for Liverpool, I knew that he would be,” Ronaldinho told The Mirror.
“He’s one of the best at what he does in the world. He’s in the same class as Ozil, [David] Silva, Iniesta, and all the other great players who play that role.
“He’s the player that I’m sure Klopp will build his new Liverpool team around.
“Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world, he will know that Liverpool need better players, he will know that Firmino will need better players around him to get the most out of his game.
“I’m sure when he joined Liverpool, Klopp was promised he could bring in his own players, and with Firmino at the centre of the team, there’s no reason Liverpool cannot challenge once again.”
Firmino arrived from Hoffenheim for big money in the summer, but initially took some time to get going.
In 2016 alone though, he’s scored four goals and registered an assist as well, finally establishing himself as a key player in our starting XI.
Ronaldinho’s comparisons to Silva, Iniesta and Ozil are flattering, but for us – immature. The former Bundesliga star has most impressed as a false-9, and often looked a little lost in attacking midfield – which the aforementioned trio of course do not.
The true test of Firmino will be when Coutinho and hopefully Daniel Sturridge are back. Those three could form a really outstanding attack, but injuries, predominantly to the latter, have meant they’ve not once all been on the pitch together.