Roberto Firmino, Marcelo and Casemiro have a golden opportunity to shine in the Champions League final, but which Brazilian is the best bet to steal the show?
Brazil’s national team has already launched its World Cup training camp at Granja Comary in Rio de Janeiro, but three Seleção members have a very good excuse to arrive late, as the greatest club competition in the world separates them from their trip to Russia.
Liverpool and Real Madrid have gone a long way to reach the final, but this may not have been possible without their brilliant Brazilians, who have shown consistency and offered high quality throughout the European campaign.
Roberto Firmino is widely regarded as the most complete striker in the world currently playing, something that French legend Thierry Henry confirmed a few weeks ago. In addition to that, the versatile attacker is having the best season of his career both in terms of performances and numbers.
The Liverpool forward, who is as hard-working as ever, has finally managed to reach the stats that a player of his caliber deserves, after being handed the number nine jersey. In the Champions League, only Cristiano Ronaldo has so far had more goal involvements than Roberto Firmino this season, by just one – a gap that can be either extended, equalized or broken in the final. However, the Brazilian had five goal involvements in the semi final phase, which was the highest among all, after having scored two goals and mustered three assists over the two legs, against AS Roma.
Meanwhile, Marcelo is always on another level whenever European competitions call on him. He is heading to his 4th final, and with the level of consistency he has reached in recent years, he is not far away from being considered one of the highest ranked fullbacks if not defenders, in the competition’s history.
With trademark performances like the ones against Bayern Munich last season where he pocketed Arjen Robben, or other important games this season against the likes of Paris Saint Germain, he is definitely making a name for himself in the history books.
On the other hand, Casemiro who had started the season on a low, has improved in 2018 and is set for yet another final. In 2014, he played an essential role in helping Madrid knock Borussia Dortmund in a match that could have ended in a tragic way, if it was not for him. In 2016, he was one of the best players in the final against Atlético Madrid, whereas last season against Juventus, he scored a brilliant goal, albeit a deflected one, from long range, to give Real Madrid a precious lead which would turn-out to be crucial.
It is difficult to pick the Brazilian who is likely to be the star of the final, but in a game like this, it is difficult to bet against Casemiro to grab the spotlight in yet another big fixture.