Liverpool star Fabinho was spotted enjoying a private discussion with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in the tunnel following Real Madrid’s 3-1 win on Tuesday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side face a huge task next Wednesday to overcome Tuesday’s quarter-final first leg defeat. Los Blancos ran out 3-1 winners, in part due to mistakes from Liverpool. Indeed, Trent Alexander-Arnold and defenders Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips had shaky moments.
Despite the manner of Liverpool’s defeat, midfielder Fabinho was still able to find time to laugh and joke with Perez after the game. The Brazilian had a spell at the Bernabeu back in 2012, having joined from Rio Ave.
However, he spent most of his time playing for the Castilla side, where he made over 30 appearances.
He was eventually handed his senior debut by Jose Mourinho towards the end of the season. That came when he featured frooff m the bench in a 6-2 win over Malaga.
But he never really nailed down a place and eventually departed for Monaco, where he became a household name.
After the match, Real Madrid winger Vinicius joined Fabinho and the man who brought him to the club, Perez, for a quick chat.
According to Marca, Perez highlighted just how much Fabinho’s game has changed since his time with Los Blancos.
“With us you played as a right-back,” Florentino recalled to the Liverpool defensive midfielder.
Fabinho is then alleged to have replied: “Yes, but to play right-back now… What a player you have in Vinicius.”
Fabinho qualities highlighted
While Fabinho can still play right-back, he is known as a midfielder these days. Of course, he has had to cover a lot in central defence for Liverpool though too.
Certainly Fabinho’s development into a world-class midfielder was one thing Alberto Toril, his former coach at Real Madrid Castilla, never saw coming.
“He was very shy, but you could immediately see his potential as a player,” Toril told Goal.
“When he arrived, he occupied a somewhat strange position for the type of footballer he was. He was 1.90m (6ft 2in), but he was a right-back, which is unusual, no?
“He played on occasion as a centre-back, but never as a midfielder. At the time he just wasn’t seen as a midfield player, although we were not sure where his best position would be in the future.”