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Firmino: Hoffenheim discovered star on Football Manager

Lutz Pfannenstiel, a scout for the Bundesliga side, has revealed the role played by the sim in taking the Liverpool ace from Brazil to Europe.

Firmino: Hoffenheim discovered star on Football Manager

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has been in fantastic form in his second season at Anfield, helping Jürgen Klopp's men to the top of the Premier League.

Star found on sim while in second tier in Brazil

And it has emerged that the Brazilian, who joined the Reds for £29m from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in June 2015, was brought to Europe by the German club after being discovered on a well-known computer game.

In an interview on UK radio station TalkSport, Hoffenheim scout Lutz Pfannenstiel explained that he came across the 25-year-old attacker, who was playing in Brazil's second division at the time, on Football Manager.

Firmino celebrates during Liverpool's 6-1 Premier League win over Watford on 6 November.

Referring to an earlier off-air conversation, presenter Paul Hawksbee said to Pfannenstiel: "You and a colleague found him [on the management sim], did all the work on it and he went to Hoffenheim for 3.5m quid?"

"Yeah, £3.5m roughly," replied the ex-goalkeeper, who began monitoring the then Figueirense man before the Bundesliga outfit snapped him up in December 2010.

A success at Hoffenheim - and sold on at a huge profit

After initial criticism over his signing, Firmino silenced the doubters in a four-and-a-half year spell at Hoffenheim, earning his big-money move to England  - and a massive return on the Bavarians' original investment.