The Brazilian's prerequisite flair proved an instant hit at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, but it wasn't until the 2013/14 Bundesliga campaign that he truly came of age.
Born on 2 October 1991 in Maceio, Brazil, Firmino was picked up as a youngster by local club Clube de Regatas Brasil. In 2008, he signed his first professional deal at Tonbense FC, who immediately shipped him out on loan to Serie B outfit Figueirense FC.
After notching seven times in 36 appearances for the Furacão and collecting the 2009/10 Player of the Season award to boot, young Firmino earned himself a four-year deal with ambitious Bundesliga startups Hoffenheim during the 2010/11 winter break.
Firmino made his top-flight bow as a 75th-minute replacement for Sebastian Rudy in the 2-1 home defeat to 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 26 February 2011, with his first goal for his new employers coming two months later against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 30 of the 2010/11 campaign.
By now a starting XI mainstay, the Samba starlet was at his string-pulling best the following year as Hoffenheim preserved their Bundesliga status by way of a promotion/relegation play-off win over 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
Bouncing back from that disappointing campaign, Firmino stole the season-long show yet again in 2013/14, netting 16 goals and laying on 12 assists as Hoffenheim banished memories of that dice with the drop courtesy of an unexpected ninth-placed finish. So good was his form that head coach of the Brazilian national team at the time, Luiz Felipe Scolari, even visited Kraichgau.
Long at home in Sinsheim and clearly thriving in the Bundesliga, it's little wonder Hoffenheim's archetypal Zehner was so keen to put pen to paper on a contract extension that will keep him at his beloved club until 2017. Scolari may no longer be in charge of the Brazil national team, but his successor, Dunga, is a fully paid-up member of the Firmino fan club, handing him his senior international debut in November 2014 and including him in the squad ever since.