Liverpool star Fabinho has spoken out about why he rates himself as one of the best midfielders in the world – and has named another man in Jurgen Klopp’s squad also shining bright as the best in the business.
The 27-year-old has been a huge influence on Jurgen Klopp’s side since arriving in summer 2018. He last week signed a new contract which will keep him at Anfield until 2026. That’ll mean the Reds should reap the benefits of him at the peak of his career.
Fabinho has had a shortened pre-season because of his involvement in the Copa America with Brazil. Nonetheless, Fabinho looks set to start in the Premier League opener at Norwich on Saturday.
And he is keen to kick off what he hopes will be his best year yet in a red shirt. That’s after the disappointment of the previous campaign which was decimated by injuries.
“I think I can still improve. I feel important, I feel I am one of the best players in my position,” Fabinho said.
“You always feel you can be better, that you have room to improve. I don’t want to stop; I want to always grow, to try to be better.
“If I have good conditions for the rest of my career, I believe I can be the best player in my position.
“That’s what I will try, to do my best for Liverpool. Hopefully it will be my best season for the club.”
An encouraging pre-season has coupled with the return of Liverpool’s trio of injured centre-backs Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. Adding to the mix too is summer signing Ibrahima Konate to strengthen that area. That should ensure Liverpool head into the Carrow Road clash full of confidence.
And with resources in central defence fully restored it means Fabinho will return to his more midfield role.
Having filled in at the back for large periods of last season, there are fewer happier than Fabinho.
“Because the boys are back hopefully they won’t need me to play in this position but if I have to play then I don’t have any problem playing there and helping the team,” he added.
“I didn’t play often as a midfielder, but when I did I was happy with my performance.
“I want always to improve and sometimes this is natural when you play with a new player, like Thiago (Alcantara) for example: I learn new things with him through training days and games.”
Van Dijk the ‘best in the world’
The return of Van Dijk, who did not play again after ACL surgery in October, could be key to Liverpool’s chances of overhauling Manchester City and beating off competition from Manchester United and Chelsea.
And Fabinho insists the Reds squad are thrilled to have the Dutchman back.
“We have the confidence in the other players in this squad. But, of course, Virgil is the best defender in the world,” said Fabinho.
“When we have him we know we have a leader in the team and a player who will win almost all the balls in the air, who has a lot of quality with the ball at his feet and who can find a long pass or a pass in between the lines.
“We have confidence in the other players, but Virgil is a different player. It is really good to have him back and hopefully he will find his highest level.”
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