Roberto Firmino warned off ‘dream’ Barcelona move by Brazil legend Rivaldo as playing time questioned by former Blaugrana star
- Firmino will leave Liverpool at the end of the season
- Barcelona are interested in signing Firmino
- Rivaldo feels Firmino should understand his potential role
WHAT HAPPENED? Liverpool player Roberto Firmino had previously announced his departure from Anfield and has been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer. But Barca and Brazil legend Rivaldo has warned his compatriot against joining the Spanish club. Rivaldo suggested the 31-year-old should find a club where he could get "assured" playing time.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Rivaldo, while speaking to Betfair, has provided valuable advice for the current Liverpool forward, suggesting: "Following in the footsteps of other great Brazilian players, I believe Firmino would fulfil a dream of playing for Barcelona. However, I think he should first find out what his role in the team would be."
Rivaldo further pointed out Xavi's tactics as a manager and how he likes to operate with a sole striker. With Robert Lewandowski in the squad, Firmino could be constantly benched in Spain. He added: "Xavi always plays with one centre forward - Robert Lewandowski - and the arrival of Firmino could suggest a change of strategy, but will most likely mean that he would be a bench player who would play only a few minutes. That's why I think he should weigh up his decision, not least because he's leaving Liverpool because he's lost his leading role within the club. That does not take away the beautiful history he has written."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2002 World Cup winner suggested Firmino should first get assurances from Xavi if he is considering joining Barcelona this summer. "No doubt playing at Barcelona is a dream come true, but at this late stage of his career, he might need to look for another club that gives him greater assurance of playing more minutes. So, should he reach an agreement with Barcelona, I would hope that he talks to Xavi first in order to understand what his role in the squad will be," said Rivaldo.
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WHAT NEXT FOR FIRMINO? With Firmino tipped to leave the Reds at the end of the season, multiple clubs are vying for his signature, including Inter Milan and Barcelona. It remains to be seen whether Firmino takes the advice of his compatriot or ends up joining the Catalan outfit.