Firmino: “Salah frustrated everyone with his selfishness”

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Dynamic Trio of Liverpool: Unveiling the Complex Bonds

In the midst of the bustling football scene, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino sheds light on the intricate dynamics between himself, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane in his latest publication, “Si Senor: My Liverpool Years.” This revelation peeks into the world of Liverpool’s renowned trio, offering an insider’s perspective on teamwork amidst personal challenges.

Unspoken Tensions and Professional Composure

Firmino opens up about the subtleties of his relationship with Salah and Mane, emphasising their commitment to professionalism despite not being the closest of friends. Their time at Liverpool was marked by a focus on collective success, overshadowing any underlying friction. The Brazilian striker, often seen as the uniting force, played a pivotal role in maintaining harmony within this high-profile group.

2019 Burnley Clash: A Moment of Truth

A telling incident unfolded during Liverpool’s 2019 victory against Burnley. Mane’s visible frustration upon being substituted was not just about leaving the pitch early but also a reaction to Salah’s choice to take a shot instead of passing in a crucial moment. This event brought to light the underlying tension, previously simmering behind closed doors.

Firmino’s Role in Defusing Situations

Firmino’s approach to such moments was to act as a mediator, swiftly resolving conflicts. He notes in his book, “Tense moments would pass quickly. We would be back to assisting each other, celebrating goals as a united front.” His lighthearted demeanor, including a memorable facial expression caught on camera, was his way of reassuring fans that the team’s bond remained strong.

Klopp’s Intervention and Evolution of Salah’s Play

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, did not shy away from addressing the need for team play. Firmino recalls Klopp’s emphasis on passing the ball to better-positioned teammates, a directive seemingly aimed at Salah.

He added: “I don’t know if he was aware of it or not, but Salah used to frustrate everyone when he didn’t pass the ball. I knew how to handle that situation better than most. Klopp addressed this issue in front of all of us: when a teammate was in a better position, the ball had to be passed. It was a clear hint aimed at Salah. Over the years, I must say, this aspect of his game improved significantly. He gradually learned to be less selfish and more cooperative.”

Mane’s Intensity and Firmino’s Sacrifice

Firmino describes Mane as an intense player, prone to highs and lows. Recognising this, Firmino often sacrificed his own position to alleviate group tension, a testament to his understanding of team dynamics. This selfless approach ensured a smoother functioning of the trio under Klopp’s management.

Professionalism Over Personal Bonds

Despite their differences, Firmino insists that Salah and Mane maintained a professional rapport. “They were never best friends, yet never ceased to communicate. Their professionalism was paramount,” he states. This professional ethos was central to their success, even amidst the speculated Egypt-Senegal rivalry.

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