Former Hoffenheim sporting director Ernst Tanner has revealed a surprising story about Liverpool star Roberto Firmino before he joined the Bundesliga club.
The Reds forward has been a world class performer during his time at Anfield, having previously caught the eye in Germany with Hoffenheim.
Before that, however, it seems Firmino didn’t arrive with the most impressive statistics when he joined Hoffenheim from Brazilian side Figueirense.
It’s clear Firmino has come a long way since then, with Tanner describing just how bad some of his fitness numbers were as they analysed his various qualities before completing a deal.
“You should have seen the data that we got on him when he was coming for the first time [to Hoffenheim],” Tanner told Bleacher Report.
“In Germany, we usually do these endurance tests, blood ones, which are pretty accurate, you know, and he had the worst numbers I have ever seen in professional football.
“I would say to emphasise that he was even worse than my grandma. You can’t imagine.
“They were so low that you couldn’t even believe that he was ever able to play professional football.”
He added: “Everyone [at Hoffenheim] was a bit curious about that at the time, but I rated him pretty high because I was so convinced about his abilities and even more so by his attitude.”
Considering Tanner’s claims above, it’s surprising Hoffenheim ended up gambling on Firmino in the end, but it certainly paid off for them as he became a top player for them and will have earned them a very decent profit when he later left for Liverpool.
LFC fans will also no doubt be aware that the Brazil international has only continued to improve under the expert guidance of manager Jurgen Klopp.