Roberto Firmino has had an outstanding second season at Liverpool, after a rocky start last year. But the fascinating story behind his journey to the Premier League took another twist when it was revealed that the man who brought him to Germany had found him in a very unusual way.
The Sun report a conversation held on TalkSport, where Lutz Pfannenstiel, director of football at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, explains how he found the rising star.
“Lutz, you were saying with Firmino, you and a colleague found him [on Football Manager], did all the work on it and he went to Hoffenheim for £3.5m quid?” asked presenter Paul Hawksbee, in reference to a conversation held off air, to which Pfannenstiel replied: “Yeah, £3.5m roughly.”
So it seems that while he may have found Firmino on the game, he did not rely entirely on its assessment of the player – he also did his due diligence in scouting the then 18 year old who played for Figueirense at the time.
Liverpool have a lot to thank Football Manager for. Firmino has been the perfect complement to Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane up front for the Reds. His ability to play as a false nine, dropping deep and creating chances for those two has been vital in Liverpool’s success so far this season.