Gabriel Barbosa: Roberto Firmino an inspiration and Liverpool a club everyone wants to play for
Last Updated: 07/12/19 9:12am
Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa says he would love to play with compatriot Roberto Firmino – whether that is with Brazil or Liverpool.
Barbosa - nicknamed 'Gabigol' - is enjoying the best form of his career and has scored 34 goals in 40 games on loan at Flamengo, helping the club win the Copa Libertadores.
The 23-year-old striker - who has previously been linked with West Ham and Everton - could line up against Firmino in the FIFA Club World Cup final in Qatar later this month, should both Liverpool and Flamengo win their respective semi-finals.
Barbosa has revealed his admiration for Liverpool No 9 Firmino and also says he is open to a move to the Premier League.
"Firmino is great. He's been successful for many years in Europe. He is a powerful forward and he has been great for Brazil. He is an inspiration that I look up to," Barbosa told The Sun.
"It would be a pleasure to play with him. Maybe we could team up for Brazil in the future and Liverpool is a team that everyone wants to play for.
"But it's hard to talk about this at the moment. My focus is totally on the Club World Cup.
"I like the Premier League very much. It combines technique, strength and speed. I always follow the games from Brazil.
"It really is a place I would like to play. It's one of the best leagues in the world. Every player dreams of being a champion and winning the Premier League must be indescribable.
"But I still have a contract with Inter Milan and Flamengo until the end of 2019.
"We have a very important tournament ahead and my whole focus is on it. I will think about the future after this competition."
Liverpool could extend their lead at the top of the Premier League on Saturday with victory at Bournemouth, who are on a four-match losing run.
Bournemouth will be without set-piece specialist Harry Wilson, who is ineligible to face his parent club.
Klopp: Wilson shooting 'world-class'
Liverpool's front three of Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are pretty much set in stone for the time being but manager Jurgen Klopp says Wilson is still capable of thriving at Anfield.
"Of course he can [succeed at Anfield]. That's why we loaned him, so he can make the steps," the Liverpool boss said.
"It would have been difficult for Harry and I would have loved to have had him here if we had another choice, especially when Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] was injured.
"You want to have these kinds of players but that is not the moment to decide. All the players we sent on loan have the chance to make it in the first team, otherwise we would have sold them.
"His shooting is world-class. Find me five players who shoot better than him, that is obvious, but the game is about more and that is what he has to improve and that is clear.
"To be involved as an offensive player you have to connect with other players. He has that, it is not like he doesn't, but to get to the next level, he needs game-time at the highest level and that is why we loaned him to Bournemouth."
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