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Schwegler exclusive: Hoffenheim players always wanted Liverpool star Firmino on 5-a-side team

Even though he was one of the youngest players at Hoffenheim, Roberto Firmino was already the best player at the club, and one you would desperately want in your five-a-side team at training.

That is according to former Hoffenheim midfielder Pirmin Schwegler.

Before he was someone labelled as 'world-class' by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Firmino was an extremely talented but unorthodox Brazilian plying his trade in Germany.

Unlike at Liverpool, Firmino struggled to establish an identity at Hoffenheim, playing a variety of positions including striker, second striker, winger, attacking midfielder and central midfielder.

But Firmino has since flourished under Klopp at Anfield, with his work as a striker proving an integral component for the reigning European champions, who look certain to clinch the Premier League title this season once the coronavirus match suspension is lifted.

It was in Firmino's last season at Hoffenheim in 2014/15 when Schwegler arrived at PreZero Arena, and the Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder says it was obvious the 28-year-old was destined for success.

Asked by Tribalfootball if he could envisage Firmino's rise, Schwegler replied: "Yes absolutely. He was outstanding. A lot of players here in Australia ask me about him, and I always say if we played five-a-side then you had to be in his team, because then you win.

"He is unbelievable, he is such an unbelievable power. And I could see [he had big potential]. He's a big worker, he was always in the gym and did his stuff. A top, top person, and top player.

"He was already to best player [at Hoffenheim] and he was still young, and everyone in the club could see he would be one day one of the best strikers in the world."

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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