Gini Wijnaldum was apparently in awe of one Liverpool star after trying his position back in 2019. The Dutchman couldn’t do it every game.
Pep Lijnders gave a wonderful breakdown of Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Barcelona in 2019 for The Coaches’ Voice this week. The assistant boss explained how the Reds made that result happen, going into the tactical and personnel details.
The Reds went into that game 3-0 down after a mauling at Camp Nou, of course. Liverpool didn’t actually play poorly at all but some missed chances combined with wonderful Barcelona goals hit them hard.
It was also a game where Jurgen Klopp wasn’t able to use Roberto Firmino from the start and had Gini Wijnaldum play the ‘False 9’ role for Liverpool. The Dutchman’s incredible versatility paid dividends there.
But according to Lijnders, Wijnaldum left the pitch a little bit in awe of Firmino. He couldn’t believe that the Brazilian does all the work necessary with the role in every game.
“We played with Gini as a striker,” Lijnders explained. “Gini came back in the locker room after and said to Bobby ‘I don’t know how you do this! Each game you do this?’
“So that shows how important Bobby is for our team and how important he is for our club.”
Gini Wijnaldum in awe of Roberto Firmino at Liverpool
Firmino has long been regarded as the underrated, overlooked star of Liverpool’s side. Klopp absolutely adores him, though, claiming you could write a book about the ‘insane’ forward.
And that sounds about right. Firmino is unique in football as a forward who can do just about everything. He scores goals, creates space for teammates, links with the midfield, operates as a playmaker, presses like mad and wins tackles. The Brazilian can use his frame to be a presence up top, just as he can use his technical ability to play between the lines.
It’s an awful lot to ask of any player and honestly, Firmino might be the only player in the world who can do all of that. He’s basically irreplaceable for Liverpool – as Wijnaldum found out in Catalonia.