Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva was recently asked by the club’s TV channel which forwards were the toughest he had faced in his long career.
There were the usual suspects, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but the defender also named his Brazilian teammate Roberto Firmino, providing two reasons where the Liverpool forward was so difficult to defend against:
“Firmino, he has incredible technical quality. He is very intelligent in his movements [on the pitch] that leaves defenders a bit lost.”
It’s a big compliment from Silva and he certainly knows what he is talking about, considering he has played against some of the best strikers in the world during spells in Italy, France, England and in the Champions League.
Firmino’s form has, though, dipped alarmingly over the past two years and it remains to be seen whether he will ever be able to recapture the levels that led to him striking fear into opponents such as Silva.
With Diogo Jota having returned to full fitness, he could even struggle to get his place back in the starting lineup so he has it all to do.