Jurgen Klopp's brilliant response to Firmino not starting for Brazil

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Since arriving at Liverpool in October 2015, Jurgen Klopp has fast become one of the most popular managers in England.

It's not just the scintillating football he has his Liverpool side playing either, with his pre and post-match press conferences usually good for a quote or two.

And, on the day in which he came out to defend Wayne Rooney over the recent accusations about his excessive drinking, the Anfield boss had a brilliant response to another question - this time about why his own star, Roberto Firmino, hasn't been getting much game time for Brazil.

Firmino has been in great form for Liverpool this season, scoring five goals and assisting three more en route to helping the Merseyside club climb to the top of the Premier League.

However, whilst the 25-year-old has become a fixture in Klopp's starting XI, he hasn't quite reached that level on the international stage just yet.

In Brazil's two fixtures during the recent international break - against Argentina and then Peru - Firmino was given just eight total minutes to impress by Brazil manager Tite.

Given his form so far in 2015/16, that decision may have left Liverpool fans scratching their heads.

According to Klopp, however, Firmino's limited action is actually reason to hand out special praise to the South American nation of his birth.

"One thing for Brazilian football, congratulations to this team – as long as you can play without Roberto Firmino, you must have a wonderful team," the German manager joked during an interview with Liverpool's official website.

"And you are big favourites, for me, for the next World Cup!"

Having won both their fixtures by a combined score of 5-0, Klopp might be right.

Getting those results whilst barely having to call upon the qualities of Firmino suggests that football's most successful nation might be getting back to their best as we move towards the 2018 Russia World Cup.

And, while Klopp was happy to joke about his Brazilian forward's lack of game time, he was probably secretly even more pleased that Firmino wasn't put in harm's way whilst away from Anfield.

Having started the season so well, the 25-year-old is now a key cog in Liverpool's well-oiled machine and, alongside international teammate Coutinho and Sadio Mane, is part of arguably the Premier League's most impressive attack.

Premier League
Roberto Firmino
Daniel Sturridge
Philippe Coutinho

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