Roberto Firmino pinpoints moment of Liverpool decline in new book

Roberto Firmino feels the start of Liverpool's decline can be pinpointed to one game. The Brazilian told all in a new book.

Roberto Firmino has a new book coming out on November 9th: SI SENOR, My Liverpool Years. Excerpts are now appearing as the release date comes, with the Daily Mail publishing part this week.

In this excerpt, Firmino talks about the period spanning Liverpool's Premier League title win - and the subsequent decline. It was a bizarre time, of course, with the world plunged into a pandemic right as the Reds were ready to clinch the trophy.

Firmino talks about that - and how gutting it was to finally win the Premier League without the fans present. Liverpool have been unable to recapture the title in the following seasons, of course, with a decline coming shortly after the win.

The Brazilian thinks things started to fall apart a bit before that, however. He pinpoints the Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid as the real moment things turned.

"Diego Simeone, Atletico's coach, perfectly identified our style, finding a way to nullify us," says Firmino. "It was our first defeat in five months, only the second of the season - the other had been against Napoli in the group stage - and the truth is, it shocked us.

"By that point in the season we had felt invincible, with a united and powerful squad. But we weren't truly invincible."

"Honestly, that was the team to win it all," he went on to say. "That was a perfect team, a perfect combination. It should have delivered the perfect season. But it had gone."

Everyone who watched the Atletico game knew things weren't right. Liverpool just felt off - unable to control a team for the first time that season.

Of course, it's easy to point to the defensive injuries the following season as the real downturn and we should point out that Liverpool did top the table the following season. But it wasn't the same and Firmino is almost certainly right that Atletico were the ones to end the invincible feeling.

But that's football. No team can remain on top forever - it just would have been nice to have another Champions League or Premier League title to show for it. Liverpool produced the best football on the planet for a while, though, and we can only hope that Jurgen Klopp and co. find a way to capture that magic again.

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