After leaving Liverpool upon the expiry of his contract in the summer, Bobby Firmino’s new book titled ‘SÍ SEÑOR: My Liverpool Years’ has now been released for fans to purchase.
The Brazilian, who won every major trophy possible at club level during his eight years on Merseyside, joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli at the start of the season but is already being linked with a move away from the Middle East in January.
In an extract from his new book (via This Is Anfield), the 32-year-old looks back on the moment he told Jurgen Klopp he was calling it a day on Merseyside at the end of the season.
“It had been a beautiful story that I wanted to finish the right way. We are very grateful for everything we experienced in England; all of our dreams, mine and my family’s, were fulfilled.
“We experienced the greatest joys and triumphs; it was all so intense. And we didn’t want to leave with any bitterness, anger or resentment.
“If it was difficult for them to say, well then I would say it: ‘I’m not staying. I’ll go’. If deep in their hearts they weren’t sure about extending my contract, if they didn’t know what to do, then for the good of everyone I would make the decision to leave.
“And so we arrived at 3 March 2023. I wrote the message to Klopp on my own, on my cell phone, and let my heart guide my fingers.
“Then I went to training.
“After the session, I went to the Boss’s office and asked his assistant if he was available. When I walked into the room, Klopp was sitting behind his desk, drinking a cup of coffee.
“He looked at me and said, ‘I think I know what you want to talk about’. I’m not sure if he knew. Maybe he thought I was going to complain about not getting many minutes. Maybe he knew the topic could be my departure. I had my phone in my hand. I opened the note titled ‘Meeting’.
“But I didn’t even need to read it. I had practised my speech so many times that I had memorised it. It felt like an eternity, but it only took a few seconds for it to leave my mouth. Our conversation didn’t last longer than five minutes.
“‘There are things that are not in my hands. I don’t have control over everything’, the Boss said. He accepted the decision very quickly. One of my fears was that he would insist on me staying. I had already made the decision guided by God and didn’t want to backtrack now. It had been hard enough getting this far.
“He had fought to keep my friend Philippe Coutinho a few years back; I didn’t want the same to happen with me. Now, having finally accepted the inevitable, I took the step I had never wanted to take.
“But no, Klopp didn’t insist. At that moment, it seemed like he already knew, or had come to terms with the idea. There would be no extension. It was over.
“I praised the Boss a lot, said he was the best coach I had ever worked with, and thanked him greatly for the opportunity he had given me at Liverpool. I think he felt awkward and it was the most emotional moment of the conversation.
“Right afterwards, he said he didn’t want to say goodbye yet. After all, there were still three months left in the season. That’s what I wanted to convey as well.
“The need to keep going and fighting until the end was in the message I had written on my phone. For all that we were parting, our mindset was still the same. ‘Let’s wait a bit, Bobby. We’ll bid farewell later’.
“There was football to play. We shook hands and I left the room.”
It was never going to be easy for Firmino to call it a day on his Liverpool career.
After joining the club from Hoffenheim under Brendan Rodgers, the Brazil international mastered the false-nine role and was an integral part of the success Klopp’s side have tasted in recent years.
It was emotional for all involved with the club to see him move on, but there was a strong feeling amongst many that it was the right decision.
Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz had all been signed and our new-look attack was starting to take shape.
Firmino was now the wrong side of 30, and although he still popped up with some vital goals last term, it was clear that he was no longer the pivotal figure he once was.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens to our former No. 9 in January with him yet to fully settle in Saudi Arabia but his book looks like it’ll be an interesting read.