Fabinho grows in stature to become key man in Liverpool midfield | Paul Wilson

Brazilian watched last year’s final knowing he would be moving to Anfield, this time he is central to their hopes of winning the Champions League

When Liverpool lost their Champions League final in Kiev a year ago it appeared their immediate reaction was to go out and spend £40m on a defensive midfielder from Monaco as a statement of intent for the following season. In fact the deal to sign Fabinho had been brokered by the time the game against Real Madrid kicked off, so the Brazilian was able to watch the final knowing he would soon be a member of Jürgen Klopp’s team.

“I watched it as a fan,” the 25-year-old admits. “I could have been thinking of what my position might be or how I could help the team, but I just wanted Liverpool to win. I wasn’t really focusing on tactics; what made a bigger impression on me was the passion of the fans. I didn’t know then that we would all be back for another final a year later, but I am pleased to have the chance.”

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