Football Manager is popularly known among the gamers worldwide who are football fanatics as well as addicted to computer gaming. This virtual platform, however, became convenient to a certain top European outfit who sensationally scouted one of the most gifted football stars of current time via this particular management simulation game.
Here we are quoting from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim director of football Lutz Pfannenstiel’s interview on talkSPORT:
“If you’re getting a guy from the second league in Brazil, only 17 or 18-years-old, straight away people think he needs to play in the first team directly. So people were saying you’ve paid that amount (£3.5m) for a player who hasn’t made it yet. In the end, we sold him for €42m plus payments, so in the end, I think we did it right. I think it’s good scouting, definitely.”
Guess who are we talking about here!
It’s none other than Liverpool’s striking sensation Roberto Firmino who was discovered by Pfannenstiel while he was playing Football Manager a few years back. The Brazilian was 19 then and playing for Brazilian second division outfit Figueirense. He joined Hoffenheim on 1st January 2011 and settled in quickly with the Bundesliga outfit where he went on making 153 appearances and netted 49 times across all competitions. He, alongside Kevin Volland, formed an admirable attacking force and got noticed by top Premier League sides that included Liverpool and Manchester United. Although the Red Devils made an initial approach, it was Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool who managed to hijack the deal that got finalized on 4th July 2015.
Firmino, however, had a nervy Premier League beginning but started showing his excellence under Jurgen Klopp who replaced Rodgers as Liverpool boss following a disappointing inception of the 2015-16 campaign. Klopp was well aware of Firmino’s quality as well as reputation while managing Borussia Dortmund in Bundesliga and soon the Brazilian became the heartbeat of Klopp’s ‘Heavy Metal Football’ who keeps on influencing his teammates to ‘gegenpress’ against their opponents. He has already netted 27 goals in 96 appearances altogether for the Reds and earned 16 caps for Brazil scoring 5 times.
Firmino is hailed for his work ethic, high pressing, and movements inside the box. He now regularly receives international call-ups for Brazil and has been handed Liverpool’s prestigious ‘number 9’ shirt that was once worn by the club legends like Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, and Fernando Torres.
But remember it all started from Football Manager!!