Roberto Firmino will leave Liverpool at the end of June and he has marked his eight years at the club in typically classy fashion, by handing out gift boxes to staff, family and friends
Roberto Firmino has further cemented his status as a Liverpool legend after putting together touching gift boxes for club staff.
Firmino played his final game at Anfield for Liverpool on Saturday, coming off the bench to score a dramatic late equaliser against Aston Villa. The Brazilian joined the club from Hoffenheim back in 2015 and will play his final match for the Reds against Southampton on Sunday.
He has become a fan-favourite at Anfield over the years, having scored 110 goals and provided 79 assists in 361 appearances in all competitions. Firmino is well liked due to his brilliance on the pitch, but also his personality off it – and his team-mates and club staff will be sad to see him go when his contract expires at the end of June.
Firmino was given a hero’s send-off over the weekend, with a guard of honour given at Anfield after the Villa game. Fans were able to say their goodbyes as an emotional Firmino walked around the pitch, before he, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner were presented with a parting gift.
The 31-year-old then had a leaving party at the stadium on Sunday, in which guests were treated to a three-course meal. Speeches were given by Firmino, manager Jurgen Klopp and club captain Jordan Henderson.
But that was not everything: Firmino also organised for every guest – club employees, team-mates, friends and family – to be given a gift box. The smart-looking box had his name and a gold logo on the outside and the message “thank you for being part of this story” on the inside.
There was a timeline detailing Firmino’s highs at Liverpool over the past eight years – the Premier League and Champions League titles among them. It also contained a signed Liverpool Firmino No9 shirt, with “Si Senor” on the inside of the neck and “with love Bobby” underneath the badge, as well as a specially-created perfume.
It was a touching gesture from the Brazilian, who had an emotional weekend, both on and off the pitch. His exit is reminiscent of his former team-mate Sadio Mane, who sent a box of chocolates and a thank you note to all members of Liverpool staff when leaving for Bayern Munich last summer.
Firmino’s departure will leave Mohamed Salah as the only remaining member of the incredible trio who combined so frequently to score for the club. Speaking at the farewell dinner, Klopp explained Firmino’s unique ability.
“You are so football smart, in training sessions you are the first to get [understand] the exercise,” said Klopp.
“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.”