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Sambafoot Sunday: Roberto Firmino firing for Hoffenheim

AFP DANIEL ROLAND

Sambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on...

Brazilian Bundesliga star Roberto Firmino has been one of the standout players in a goal-filled start to the German season, bagging a total of 8 goals in all competitions so far.

His club, Hoffenheim, have won two, lost two and drawn four of their games in the league, with Firmino also contributing to his team’s cause with 4 assists from the 15 chances he’s created in total.

Hoffenheim boast the second best attack in the Bundesliga, having scored 20 goals in just 8 games. Unfortunately they’ve also conceded the same amount, meaning they have the worst defence in the league!

As you might expect after reading these statistics, anyone watching Hoffenheim this season has been treated to some great entertainment, and the 22-year-old Firmino has played a key role in their exciting, youthful attack.

Firmino’s rise in the world of football began in his hometown of Maceió, a coastal city in the north-east of Brazil located between Aracaju further south, and Recife in the north. Here he played in the youth sides at Clube de Regatas Brasil and made his first steps into Brazilian football.

His progression as a footballer with obvious promise took him south, which is where he began his professional career. His first port of call was at Tombense FC in the state of Minas Gerais, then further south to Florianópolis where he made his name playing for Figueirense FC.

At Figueirense Firmino got his chance to shine, showcasing his playmaking talents whilst also chipping in with the odd goal. He scored eight of them as his side were promoted to the Brazilian top division in 2010. He was also voted the best player in Série B during this breakthrough season.

By this time Firmino had already been spotted by scouts from several clubs across Europe, with Hoffenheim performing something of a coup when they secured the signature of the attacking midfield starlet for around €4m.

There was interest from some top clubs within Europe, but Hoffenheim acted early and are now reaping the rewards. Their club website describes his signing as “A stroke of luck for TSG”, such is their fondness for him.

As the 2013/14 season progresses, we can expect more of the same from Firmino, whose rise to prominence has coincided with that of German U-21 international Kevin Volland.

The pair are uncapped for their respective country’s senior sides, and it’s likely that the 2014 World Cup will come too early for both in this respect, but if their club form continues and their profile continues to increase, then big things could lie ahead in the not too distant future.

 
 

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