Former Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino scored a stunning hat-trick on the opening night of the Saudi Pro League season last night.
Firmino bid an emotional farewell to Liverpool this summer, after eight amazing years at the club. Although he seemingly had plenty of interest from European teams, the Brazilian chose to head to Saudi Arabia, joining Al Ahli.
Since then, he’s been joined by the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin and Franck Kessie.
Those four all started together last night, along with former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, as Al Ahli took on Al Hazem in Jeddah.
After an enormous summer of spending, it was a big night for the league. And at the centre of it all was our Bobby. It took him only six minutes to open his account, before a second arrived just four minutes later. The hat-trick was completed in the second-half, with Al Ahli winning 3-1.
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Bobby up and running in Saudi Arabia
Whatever you think about the project going on in Saudi Arabia, it is unfortunately hard not to have your interest piqued.
From a Liverpool point of view, there’s plenty of relevant avenues to explore there. As well as Bobby, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are now playing there, while Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler are managers.
Mane, Henderson and Fabinho all play on Monday, with Mane’s Al Nassr coming up against Henderson and Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq.
But last night, Firmino was the man who took centre-stage.
Interestingly, the Brazil international has actually been named as captain of Al Ahli. Now, we’re not sure how the rest of the squad stack up, but that seems like a slightly strange decision.
During his years with Liverpool, Firmino was perhaps one of the least vocal players we’ve ever seen. He wasn’t exactly shy and retiring, but the 31-year-old was never one of the leaders in the Reds’ squad.
Nevertheless, it’s obvious that his experience and quality are going to be absolutely crucial to his new team. It’s fantastic to see him start with such a bang.