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Firmino: I cut my hair like Ronaldo before the 2002 World Cup semis

Roberto Firmino

The Liverpool forward has enjoyed a stellar campaign spearheading the Merseysiders’ attack, scoring more goals in his third season for the Reds (27) than his first and second combined (23).

And having netted his sixth Seleção goal in Sunday’s World Cup warm-up victory over Croatia at Anfield, everything points to the 26-year-old continuing his fine form when the finals get underway.

Speaking exclusively in the July 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out now, Firmino says: “I just need to keep working hard. I have to maintain my daily levels of dedication and try to improve as much as possible, so I'm ready and able to always give my best when the tournament starts.

“I hope that I can do with the national team what I’ve done with Liverpool this season. Winning the World Cup would be incredible, but we’ve got to work very hard to turn this dream into reality.”

Firmino was only a kid when Brazil last lifted the iconic trophy in 2002, as Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho banished memories of defeat in the final four years earlier by triumphing in Yokohama.

The Liverpool frontman reveals that the 2002 tournament is his first World Cup memory – and that he even copied Golden Boot winner Ronaldo’s bizarre haircut before the semi-final against Turkey.

“I lived every kick of that World Cup," he says. "I woke up in the night to watch it. It was one of the most memorable times of my childhood. Since then, I’ve dreamed of playing at the World Cup.

“Brazil becoming world champions for a fifth time was a beautiful thing. I even cut my hair like Ronaldo before the semis. I was completely in the World Cup vibe and loved every second. That team was amazing and crowned champions – something else Ronaldo did that I’d like to copy...”

Read the full interview with Roberto Firmino in the July 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. A ‘Stars of the 2018 World Cup’ special, we also chat to world champion Mats Hummels, Brazil boss Tite, South Korea’s Son Heung-min, England midfielder Jesse Lingard and Panama legend Roman Torres. We also profile some of the young stars hoping to make their mark at Russia 2018, hear how a hotel fire helped Joan Capdevila inspire Spain to 2010 World Cup glory, celebrate the story of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz at France 98, and reveal the World’s Cup biggest villains. Plus, Nigel de Jong gives us his take on ‘that’ tackle against Xabi Alonso in One-on-One. Order your copy today (opens in new tab), and then become a subscriber! (opens in new tab)

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Gregg Davies is the Chief Sub Editor of FourFourTwo magazine, joining the team in January 2008 and spending seven years working on the website. He supports non-league behemoths Hereford and commentates on Bulls matches for Radio Hereford FC. His passions include chocolate hobnobs and attempting to shoehorn Ronnie Radford into any office conversation.