Former English Premier League (EPL) Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino exploded for a hat-trick on his Saudi debut.
Firmino’s Al Ahli beat Al Hajj 3-1 in the opening round of the 2023-2024 Saudi Pro League on 12 December at Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium on the outskirts of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Firmino was the man of the match. Firmino scored his debut goal with a header six minutes into the game, and then found the back of the net four minutes later.안전놀이터
Riyad Mahrez, an Algerian international winger who spent five seasons with Manchester City in the EPL, flicked on a cross from the right flank.
Firmino then completed his hat-trick.
In the 27th minute, he headed home a cross from the left flank, and when the goalkeeper was denied, he pounced on the loose ball to score his third goal.
Since joining Liverpool from Hoffenheim (Germany) in 2015, Firmino has been one of the EPL’s most prolific strikers.
In eight seasons at Liverpool, he has scored 111 goals in 362 official matches, including 82 in 256 league games.
Two jubilant Altrincham players
He helped Liverpool win the EPL title in 2019-2020, the English Football Association FA Cup and League Cup in 2021-2022, the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in 2018-2019 and 2021-2022, and the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.
In particular, he has formed a fantastic partnership with Muhammad Salah (Liverpool) and Sadio Mane, who now plays for Al-Nasr (Saudi Arabia), and has been nicknamed the ‘Wife Trio’ by Korean fans, taking one letter from each of their names.
Saudi teams have been attracting some of the biggest names in European football in recent years, thanks to their deep pockets.
Promoted side Al Ahli, who won the second division last season, are at the forefront of this trend.
Mahrez, who partnered Firmino on the day, has made 236 official appearances for City, scoring 78 goals and providing 59 assists.
Alain Saint-Maximilien, who plays in a three-man attack, has been with Newcastle United in the EPL since 2019.
The EPL is considered one of the best leagues in the world, and they have a strong midfield outside of the top three. Ivory Coast international Franck Kessie, who has played for AC Milan (Italy) and FC Barcelona (Spain), started in central midfield for the win.
In goal for Altrincham was Senegal international Eduard Mendy, who played for Chelsea (England) until last season.
Mendy was named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year after leading Chelsea to the UCL title in 2021 and was also named FIFA’s Best Goalkeeper after leading Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations title.
All smiles from the opening whistle.