Georginio Wijnaldum said he discovered a new respect for his Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino after playing as a fake nine in the Champions League defeat against Barcelona. While Brazilian striker Firmino was only able to be on the Reds bench, Wijnaldum was pushed from his usual midfielder position to play alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Wijnaldum did not have much impact at Nou Camp. Barcelona beat 3-0, but the Dutchman revealed that he had spoken to Firmino about his role as an attacker after the defeat. He told: “After the match, I had a lot more respect for Roberto Firmino. I already had it for the way he had played as an attacker, but now I have more in that position.
“I know how difficult it is to play the number nine for Liverpool, especially if you do it like he does and how we want to play, it’s really hard,” I spoke to him after the match and told him how much I respected him for his role as an attacker throughout the season, because it’s so difficult. “Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp explained his surprising decision to use Wijnaldum as a partner in the league match. “It was a big task,” said the Reds official, “I told him,” What does it say about you? “He said,” I do not know. “I said, “You can play everything!”
As a football player, you have to be educated in a lot of things and he has this education. So it helped, it was really good. Wijnaldum also admitted that the Liverpool team was “devastated” after losing 3-0 to Barcelona. The Reds have created a number of chances before Lionel Messi’s double in the second half. “We were really devastated,” he added. “But you still have to regroup, even after winning a game.” We had games where we had not played so well this season and won, and hopefully, we would have scored a few goals that would have helped the return, but that was not the case.
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