Liverpool midfielder, slowly converting striker Roberto Firmino is having a great season so far. Firmino has five goals and his production as the man up top has the team at the top of the Premier League table and have people talking about a possible title run. But if it wasn’t for a video game, Firmino may still be playing in Brazil.
In an interview, Hoffenheim scout Lutz Pfannenstiel described how the Bundesliga team discovered Firmino. And the answer may be a method that the average soccer fan discovers young talent, the video game Football Manager.
Pfannenstiel mentioned about how they got Firmino via Football Manager and Hoffenheim was concerned they overspent. Hoffenheim paid £3.5 million to Brazil second division side Figueirense as a 19-year-old and at the time was a bit concerning.
Five seasons, 153 appearances and 49 goals later, Hoffenheim turned a £3.5 million investment due to Football Manager into a £29 million payoff when Liverpool bought him in 2015.
Now, as a 25-year-old, Firmino is now getting solid playing time at both Liverpool and the Brazil National Team, both teams looking to improve from recent struggles to reflect past glory. Maybe Liverpool and Brazil should thank Football Manager for Firmino’s big break way back at Hoffenheim.