Fabinho produced a Man of the Match performance for Liverpool in their 1-0 victory over Ajax on Wednesday night.
The Brazilian partnered Joe Gomez in central defence in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
Fabinho produced a magnificent goal-line clearance in the first half and was generally solid all evening as the Reds kick-started their 2020-21 Champions League campaign with a win.
An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico separated the two sides at the full-time whistle.
And Fabinho, who was named Man of the Match by Liverpool’s official Twitter account, conducted a post-match interview later that evening.
Liverpool fans were impressed with his English – he only arrived in England in 2018, joining Liverpool from AS Monaco – as well as his comments in general.
“Ajax have a lot of quality and always try to play good football,” Fabinho began. “We knew we’d have to stay concentrated because they have a lot of good offensive players. It was good to keep the clean sheet first and to win the game 1-0.”
Asked about Van Dijk’s injury, Fabinho continued: “It was a shock. I think he’s the best defender in the world right now and most of all he’s a leader of the team. In the dressing room, he [creates] a good atmosphere and of course we miss this but we have to keep going, try our best, and win the games for him as well.”
Fabinho was then asked how he adapts his game in order to play at centre-back.
“Tactically, I have to always be ready for long balls, and try and organise the team,” the Brazilian added. “It’s not easy but I have to do a bit of what Virgil always does – talk to the team, try to be a leader. Of course I’m not really [a leader] but I’ll do my best! It was very important for me and the team to keep the clean sheet today and for the team’s confidence, it’s very good.”
The interviewer noted Fabinho’s impressive English and asked the versatile midfielder if he will try to utilise his language skills during matches over the coming weeks and months.
“I try to do my best,” he responded. “The manager said to me I have to talk more to the team and organise them. Sometimes little details like ‘second ball’, ‘be ready’ ‘press good’ – I try to be in this role and do my best.”
Watch Fabinho’s post-match interview here…
Fabinho: “When I heard Virgil was out for a long time, it was a little bit of a shock. First of all, I think he's the best defender in the world. And he's a leader of the team.” 👏🏻pic.twitter.com/ouFfmzHL7d— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) October 21, 2020