Firmino: Coutinho & I aiming to replicate Ronaldo & Ronaldino

The Liverpool summer signing’s presence in the Brazil national team has grown of late and he hopes playing alongside Philippe Coutinho on a weekly basis will help at home & abroad

Roberto Firmino says he and Philippe Coutinho are aiming to replicate Ronaldinho or Ronaldo’s impact on the Brazil national team.

The 23-year-old has 10 caps for the Selecao, most recently playing a key role in the squad’s run to the quarter-finals of the Copa America alongside Coutinho.

Firmino’s achievements for Hoffenheim in Germany earned him recognition from Brazil head coach Dunga and a £29 million summer move to Liverpool, where Coutinho also resides.

“It would be hard for anyone to be as good as Ronaldinho or Ronaldo but me and Philippe are going to do our best to get close to them and be the best players we can be for Brazil,” he told reporters.

“It was ugly what happened in the World Cup semi-final against Germany but there are new players in Brazil to turn things around and who can show that Brazil still has lots of talent to be successful.”

He added: “I knew about Liverpool’s interest before the tournament,” Firmino says. “And I instantly thought it would be an interesting idea for me because I knew Lucas and Coutinho were playing here.

“I had the chance to play alongside Philippe for the national team so I spoke to him about Liverpool and I knew it would be a great opportunity. He said it’s a great club with a great squad and a great team spirit.”

Firmino has had to settle for two appearances off the bench as Liverpool began their Premier League season with two 1-0 wins, but hopes to start when the squad travel to Arsenal on Monday.

“That is my aim but there’s a healthy competition in the squad right now and the manager knows who should be starting games,” he said.

“All I can do is keep on working so I will be ready when I am given the chance to start.”

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