The Brazilian’s career was absolutely tremendous, but he appears to be regretting his decision not to join Manchester United.
Rivaldo has congratulated Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino on becoming the first Brazilian to reach 50 Premier League goals.
However, the former Barcelona man thinks he could have done just as well as his compatriot in England.
Firmino is not the traditional Brazil forward; he does have touches of flamboyance and superb vision but he melds that with an incredible work rate and an appetite for tackling back and retrieving possession. The 27-year-old clocked up half a century of top-flight strikes for the Reds when he scored Liverpool’s third goal in their 3-0 win at Burnley before the international break, as they maintained their 100% record this season.
And while Rivaldo was full of praise for the Champions League winner, who has started the season in fine form, he says that he could have scored 50 goals in England if he had signed for Manchester United back during the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
“Roberto Firmino has become the first Brazilian player to reach 50 goals on Premier League and I must congratulate him for that achievement,” Rivaldo told Betfair. “He is a player of great personality, with a particular taste for scoring goals and also very clever on his movements near the opposite goal.
“Perhaps, if I had signed for Manchester United when I had the opportunity, I could have achieved something similar to what Firmino is doing at Liverpool. Of course, it would depend on the time spent there. But I did shape my style from a creative player, who only assisted others, into someone who could also score regularly.
“In five seasons with Barcelona I scored 130 goals, so why couldn’t I have scored 50 or so in England? I think it would have been possible after four or five seasons there.”
Rivaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or during his time with Barcelona, was linked with a move to Old Trafford after the Reds completed the historic treble 1999, but was unwilling to leave Barcelona.