Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has described manager Jurgen Klopp as a ‘father figure’, but admitted his first experiences with the German were somewhat different.
Firmino joined Liverpool from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in 2015 – months before Klopp arrived at Anfield – so he already had experience of coming up against the boss during his spell in charge of Borussia Dortmund.
The pair are close now but, speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Firmino confessed he was confused by Klopp when they first faced off in Germany.
“Whenever we came up against Dortmund, Jurgen would routinely be in the middle of the pitch closely observing opposition players warm up,” he said. “I’d look at him and think: what’s going on, is he trying to intimidate us? I found it interesting and it was always great to come up against that Dortmund team.”
Now fighting on the same side, Firmino had nothing but positive words to say about Klopp.
“Having him with us today is amazing,” Firmino added. “He never stops giving me advice. He’s a massive father figure for me here at Liverpool. I’m so grateful to play under and be coached by a great leader.
“I thank him for everything I’ve learned. I will always be highly complimentary for everything he’s done for me and also the club.”
Finally, Firmino also discussed hitting the 100-goal mark for Liverpool earlier this season with a strike in the 9-0 thumping of Bournemouth.
“I’m delighted to reach the milestone of 100 goals in a Liverpool shirt, representing such a great club,” he said. “I’ve evolved. I had a few injuries that held me back last season. Thank God I’m back this season, I feel good, highly motivated for the upcoming games and competitions we’re competing in.
“I hope to be continuously developing and improving to give my best on the pitch, always looking to win games and trophies with this team.”