Firmino braces for emotional Anfield farewell

AFP / Paul Ellis

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino expects his final game at Anfield to be an emotional affair, and the Brazilian said he is bracing for a flood of tears as he prepares to leave the Premier League club after eight trophy-laden years.

Firmino, who has scored 109 goals since his move from Hoffenheim in 2015, has won every major trophy with Liverpool, including the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

The 31-year-old is out of contract at the end of the campaign, and Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp confirmed he was one of four players who would leave in the close season along with James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"I am trying to focus on the game, but after it, I will cry 100%," Firmino told reporters ahead of Saturday's game against Aston Villa, Liverpool's last home game of the season.

"I will miss everything -- my teammates, the club, the fans, especially the fans. I love the fans; they've supported me a lot through these eight years.

"I am so proud of what we achieved here together. For everything that the club did for me and my family, I'm so happy."

Firmino was the fulcrum at his peak in Liverpool's three-pronged attack, forming a devastating partnership with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

But he has become a fringe player in the last two seasons and is no longer a guaranteed starter.

"It is time, unfortunately. The cycle here is ended, and I understand it is time to go," he added.

"I'm very proud of everything I have done here with the team, what we achieved together and the beautiful history we made together. Maybe one day I could come back, I don't know, but it's time to go."

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