Roberto Firmino is Like a Defender, Says Sadio Mane

Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by

Roberto Firmino is Like a Defender, Says Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane has lauded his Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino's teamwork and compared his work-rate to that of a defender.

The Brazilian striker scored 27 goals in 54 games last season, as well as attributing 17 assists, but it is his defensive qualities that leave Mane the most impressed.

Speaking on Liverpool's official 2017-18 end-of-season DVD, the Senegalese winger says: "He's a hard worker and an incredible player.

"He can see in his eye and what he's doing all the time on the pitch, working for the team like a defender and he's a striker!"

Roberto Firmino is Like a Defender, Says Sadio Mane

Jurgen Klopp has fully stamped his 'heavy metal' brand of football upon the red half of Merseyside this season and his style of play is reliant on forwards who will press opposition defenders into making mistakes.

Firmino fits that bill perfectly, completing the second-most tackles of any attacker in the Premier League last season with 65. Only Swansea's Jordan Ayew, who was often deployed as a lone-striker in a defensive system, completed more.

And it is not just Firmino's ability on the pitch that leaves Mane in awe of the former Hoffenheim striker.

Mane also praised Firmino's post-goal dancing celebrations, joking: "Roberto is someone who likes dancing all the time and he always forces me to dance with him!

"I try my best but I'm not as good as him!

"I say: 'Hey Bobby, I'm shy, I can't dance like you!'"

Firmino came off the bench in his Brazil side's 1-1 World Cup draw against Switzerland on Sunday and will be hoping the Selecao can improve on that result when they face Costa Rica this Friday.

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