Roberto Firmino has established himself as one of the top players in Premier league but his talents may not have been discovered on the continent if it wasn’t for Football Manager.
Hoffenheim director of football Lutz Pfannenstiel has revealed that he used popular management game Football Manager to scout Liverpool Star Roberto Firmino.
The Liverpool striker was bought by Hoffenheim in 2011 after the German side’s executive of football found him on Football Manager.
Lutz Pfannenstiel has uncovered that he first went over the Brazilian playmaker as a teenager amid a session of the well-known football management simulation.
The German side soon snapped him up from Figueirense for £3.5million and would go ahead to be a key some portion of their young side before being sold to Liverpool for £29million a year ago.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, Pfannenstiel stated how he landed the midfielder when presenter Paul Hawksbee asked how it came about. Hawksebee said: “Lutz, you were saying with Firmino, you and a colleague found him [on Football Manager], did all the work on it and he went to Hoffenheim for £3.5m quid?”
To which Pfannenstiel responded: “Yeah, £3.5m roughly.”
The Hoffenheim director of football revealed that he expected that the signing may have been initially cost a lot but is now satisfied with the ultimate result of Firmino’s performances at Hoffenheim.
“If you’re getting a guy from the second league in Brazil, only 17 – 18-years-old,” he added. “Straight away people think he needs to play in the first team directly. So people were saying you’ve paid that amount for a player who hasn’t made it yet. In the end, we sold him for €42m plus [future] payments, so in the end, I think we did it right.
“I think it’s good scouting, definitely.”
The 25-year-old is enjoying a stellar second season at Liverpool following his move from Hoffenheim in June 2015. The 25-year-old has already scored 5 goals and assisted further 5 goals for Liverpool this campaign who is becoming a fan favourite at Anfield.
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Photo by Ben Sutherland