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A number of Liverpool players and staff, including manager Jurgen Klopp and club captain Jordan Henderson, were in attendance at a private event on Sunday night to celebrate the Anfield career of Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian forward is set to leave the Reds upon the expiry of his contract in the summer, which will bring an end to his glittering eight-year spell at the club ahead of next season.
Firmino was in tears after making his final home appearance for Liverpool in their Premier League draw with Aston Villa on Saturday, with supporters and players alike coming together to give the 31-year-old a fitting send-off before his departure in the coming weeks. He was also honoured with a farewell event on Sunday night that was attended by his Liverpool team-mates and Klopp, who took to the stage to underline his admiration for the forward and wish him well for the next stage of his career.
In a video clip posted to Twitter, the German boss tells Firmino: “You are so football smart, in training sessions you are the first to get [understand] the exercise. It’s like you saw it once: ‘Ah, okay, go for it’. It’s really special and it makes you the player you are, with all the technical stuff, but your football brain is incredible. That’s all good and makes you the player you are.”
Another clip showed Firmino on the stage while surrounded by several of his Liverpool team-mates, including the likes of Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Kostas Tsimikas and Cody Gakpo while Henderson was presenting him with next season’s Liverpool home shirt. The Reds skipper then led the rest of the room in singing Firmino’s signature chant as the player himself clapped along with a beaming smile on his face.
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Firmino was decked out in a smart suit with a red lapel and also posed for photographs alongside his team-mates and family with each of the trophies that he has won during his time on Merseyside. He was also pictured giving a speech to his colleagues in what was likely an emotional affair, while This Is Anfield has reported that plenty of children were present at the family event and there was even a bouncy castle set up to keep them entertained.
Alisson Becker’s wife, Natalia, was among those to post snippets about the party on social media by revealing the menu for the occasion. She also wrote a brief message of support for Firmino as he prepares to embark on the next stage of his career away from Liverpool in advance of next season.
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“Bobby, I’m thankful for your life, for everything you’ve done for us as a team and as a family,” she said. “We love you! Wherever you are going, you’ll never walk alone. May God bless you!”
Firmino will undoubtedly be remembered as a club legend by everybody associated with Liverpool, who he joined from Hoffenheim back in 2015 before going on to establish himself as a cult hero as part of the deadly front three that won every available trophy alongside Salah and Sadio Mane. It remains to be seen where he will end up at the start of next season, although the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Inter Milan have all been linked with summer moves for the forward over the last few weeks.
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