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Interview: Liverpool's Fabinho on his central role, his season goals and his Anfield nicknames

Central midfielder Fabinho doesn't mind not making headlines as long as he is helping Liverpool to make progress. Follow Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final first leg at Benfica with UEFA.com.

Fabinho has been thriving in midfield for Liverpool
Fabinho has been thriving in midfield for Liverpool Getty Images

Right-back turned defensive midfielder Fabinho is sparkling in his all-action role at Liverpool, with the Reds challenging for honours in England and through to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. Signed from Monaco in 2018, the Brazilian is now a key figure at Anfield.

Jürgen Klopp has nicknamed Fabinho 'Dyson' after the vacuum cleaner and enthused about him when he spoke to UEFA.com: "He's in the prime of his career, 100%. He saves our lives. He gives us opportunities to play the way we play, together with the two centre-halves, so we can really focus on offensive stuff. He’s a massive player for us."

Ahead of Tuesday's quarter-final at Benfica, Fabinho talks UEFA.com through his role with the Reds.

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On his Liverpool nicknames: 'Dyson' and 'the Lighthouse'

The first time I heard 'Dyson' was when I heard Jürgen [Klopp] saying it after a match in which I'd defended really well, sweeping up in the middle of the pitch. The nickname 'the Lighthouse' was given to me by [Reds assistant coach] Pep Lijnders. The players usually call me 'Flaco'. 'Flaco' means 'Skinny' [in Spanish]. [Virgil van Dijk] started it and now everybody calls me that. Even the coach sometimes calls me that. So, that's the one which is most common here.

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On his all-action role in midfield

I receive the ball a lot and I'm involved in the creation process. It's good because I always have the ball, and I'm always very involved in transitions between defence and attack. I also like the fact that there are plays and movements that I can anticipate to intercept some passes. I like to steal the ball, take the ball from the other team and many times, depending on where you win the ball, you can put a team-mate through into a good attacking position. I think that's what I enjoy doing the most.

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Attacking players always grab the headlines because they score goals and have better overall attacking statistics, so it's normal. The younger fans will always pay greater attention to the ones who score goals, since scoring goals is the best thing about football. I focus on how I can help those players improve their statistics: to score more goals and provide more assists.

On settling in at Liverpool

It's always tough when you arrive from another domestic league. The season before I arrived, Liverpool had played in a Champions League final and finished in the top four in the Premier League. So, the starting XI was already well established and consistently performing well, so it was tough to break into the team. However, as time went on, I was able to show that I deserved my spot in the starting XI and I was able to cement my place.

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On his goals for the season

Personally, I want to always stay physically fit and well and have no injuries. That was always a constant in my career until last year, when I had some injuries that unfortunately prevented me from having a good run.

In terms of statistics, I guess they're not supposed to be the most important thing for a player in my role, but it's good when you're able to help your team with assists and goals, so I'm glad I've been scoring and supporting the team in attack. I look forward to continuing to contribute in that area. Generally, that's it: I want to keep up the good work in defence and, of course, I'm hoping that this translates into good collective stats for the team so we can conquer big things.

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