Roberto Firmino has seen his contribution at Liverpool saluted by Rivaldo, but the Brazilian legend believes he would have matched his 50-goal haul in the Premier League had he joined Manchester United.
That tally has been reached across 141 appearances, with Firmino’s game as much about creating space for others as it is hitting the back of the net.
Rivaldo was of a similar mould in his day, as a playmaking attacker, and the 2002 World Cup winner feels he could have thrived and set a sizeable benchmark for Brazilians in England had United seen one of their many efforts to bring him on board prove successful .
“Roberto Firmino has become the first Brazilian player to reach 50 goals on Premier League and I must congratulate him for that achievement,” Barcelona great Rivaldo told Betfair .
“He is a player of great personality, with a particular taste for scoring goals and also very clever on his movements near the opposite goal.
“He didn't play in the starting 11 at the last World Cup but looks like he will have a good chance of starring for his country in 2022 because he is a top forward.
“Perhaps if I had signed for Manchester United when I had the opportunity, I could have achieved something similar to what Firmino is doing at Liverpool.
“Of course, it would depend on the time spent there. But I did shape my style from a creative player, who only assisted others, into someone who could also score regularly.
“In five seasons with Barcelona I scored 130 goals, so why couldn't I have scored 50 or so in England? I think it would have been possible after four or five seasons there.”
Rivaldo spent the best part of his career at Barcelona, with five years taken in at Camp Nou between 1997 and 2002.
Firmino is now into his fifth season with Liverpool, with the 27-year-old having become a key component in Jurgen Klopp’s plans alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.