Jurgen Klopp gives emotional tribute to Roberto Firmino following Liverpool exit
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted he will miss Roberto Firmino ‘as a human’ as much as a player.
Firmino has confirmed he will officially leave the Reds when his contract expires later this month, ending his eight-year stay at Anfield.
The Brazilian signs off having scored a late equaliser in his final home game, a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, before grabbing Liverpool’s second in their 4-4 draw at Southampton on the last day of the season.
Liverpool are planning to send Firmino off with a farewell documentary entitled Bobby, and they have released an extract in which Klopp discusses how much he will miss the 31-year-old.
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“He is so integral for everything what happened here in my time. I think he is still the player who started most games even when recently he didn’t start that often,” Klopp said.
“It’s just that I couldn’t imagine for a long, long time how our game would look without him. So, we had to find ways when he was not available and we came through these spells: Sadio [Mane] last year, for example, did exceptional, did that really well.
“But yes, as a person, as a human, as a boy, I will miss him. As a player we all will miss him, but anyway I think it’s the right way to part ways: very respectful, with tears in our eyes and with the knowledge that we will definitely miss each other because it will be the other way around the same.
“But we are professional football people and we have to part ways from time to time, it’s a completely normal thing. So, we will stay friends forever definitely, I will be grateful forever for everything he did for us, for me, and he will go down as one of the Liverpool greats.
“What can you wish more for in a footballer’s life than that?”
Firmino is free to discuss his future with other clubs, with reports in Spain suggesting Real Madrid are interested in the forward.
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