As with the majority of Jurgen Klopp signings, Fabinho had to be patient for a chance to prove his undoubted talent, after the Reds splashed out around £40 million on the defensive powerhouse who signed from AS Monaco last summer.
Having helped Liverpool to their sixth Champions League trophy, it wasn’t all plain sailing in his first season, after struggling to adapt in his first few games, but he turned his fortunes around becoming a mainstay in the starting eleven.
“Even when I wasn’t playing, I already knew I had to work hard because I knew if I played a few games on the trot, I could become an important player for the team,” Fabinho told UEFA.
“I think I’ve shown that and it’s also something I wanted – to have more responsibility in the team, to keep improving as a player. I’ve always aspired to that, and the manager trusts me more.”
Time to kick on
Champions League success followed soon after bitter disappointment in the Premier League, by losing out to Manchester City by just one point, but the Brazilian has reiterated his hunger for more success this season.
“I finished last season strongly, I nearly always played," he said. "We cannot become complacent, we must keep wanting more, and that’s what I try to do.”
Patience is the key
With the settling in process well and truly behind him, the midfielder feels time on the side-lines and learning from the coaches early on in his tenure was key in becoming the player he is today.
He said, “to adapt to a new training method, to adapt to a new league, to adapt to a new country which is completely different from the one I was used to.
“In the beginning, I needed to be patient. I constantly looked to learn from my coaches and the players who had been playing here longer. I also think it was important that there were players from my country here who helped me to communicate.
“I needed to be patient at that time but it was also a good experience. So, after a year in Liverpool, I feel I’ve adapted to the country, I like the city.
“The league is excellent, for me it’s the best in the world. So, I needed to adapt, but once you do, things become easier.”
Fabinho is expected to feature in the Community Shield on Sunday, where Liverpool will hope to kick-off their season with silverware against last season’s Premier League rivals Manchester City.