Roberto Firmino: Liverpool player admits drink-driving charge

Larissa Pereira and Roberto Firmino leaving court Image copyright Peter Byrne PA
Image caption Roberto Firmino said what he did was wrong and "apologised without reservation"

Footballer Roberto Firmino has been banned from driving for a year and fined £20,000 for drink-driving.

The 25-year-old Brazil international was arrested after his Range Rover was stopped in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

In a statement, the Liverpool FC forward said what he did was wrong and "apologised without reservation".

The club said it had "disciplined" him but the action would remain private and it would not affect his selection.

'Bad example'

Liverpool Magistrates' Court heard Firmino had left a restaurant and was seen to cross into the opposite carriageway on Strand Street when he was stopped by police.

He was taken to a police station and breathalysed.

He had a reading of 46 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath above the legal limit in England of 35 micrograms.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Roberto Firmino was arrested in the early hours of Christmas Eve

Michael Hogan, defending, said the incident happened the day after the footballer's home in Mossley Hill was targeted by burglars who were "prepared to use extreme force".

The court heard he and his family had moved into a hotel on police advice.

Mr Hogan said Firmino has very young children and neither he or his wife can speak more than a few words of English.

"Had they been in the house when it was burgled, who can say what might have happened at the hands of the robbers.

"That it should happen in his own home so close to Christmas caused him considerable anxiety and distress."

He said the burglary had also caused a "considerable financial loss" to the player and his family, with thieves reportedly taking £70,000 worth of jewellery, watches and clothes.

Mr Hogan added: "He was preoccupied and accepts he should have kept a closer eye on what he had to drink."

Despite that, District Judge Miriam Shelvey said it was Firmino's responsibility to check he was not over the limit.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Liverpool FC signed the forward on a five-year deal for about £29m in 2015

After the hearing, Firmino who is reportedly on £100,000 a week, released a statement which said: "What I have done is wrong and sets a bad example."

He added: "I promise to everyone in the LFC family that I will learn from this mistake, learn from this experience, and not repeat it in the future."

Firmino played in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Anfield.

He was signed from Hoffenheim on a five-year deal for £29m in 2015.

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