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Top facts about Junior Firpo, Leeds defender

Wed 01 December 2021 | 10:00

Junior Firpo is an all-round athlete, having also played basketball and baseball in the Dominican Republic. Like many other full-backs, before taking up the position, Firpo started his playing career as a winger. Read on to find out more facts about Junior Firpo.

Héctor Junior Firpo Adames (born 22 August 1996), often known as Junior Firpo or just Junior, is a professional footballer who currently plays as an offensive defender for Leeds United in the Premier League. He is mostly a left-back, although he also has the ability to play as a center-back or right-back.

Junior Firpo’s age

is 25.

In 2014, he became a member of Real Betis' youth system. Four years later, on February 12, 2018, he made his first La Liga start, assisting Betis to a 1-0 victory against Deportivo La Coruna, becoming the first player born in the Dominican Republic to play in La Liga.

On March 17th, 2018, Junior scored his first goal for the

Betis

senior team in a 3-0 victory against Espanyol, marking his seventh appearance in Spain's top flight since joining the club.

On October 25, 2018, Junior made his UEFA Europa League debut, aiding Betis in a 2-1 win against AC Milan at the San Siro Stadium in Milan.

In the final of the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, Junior played 90 minutes for Spain, guiding them to a 2-1 win against Germany at the Stadio Friuli in Udine on June 30, 2019.

Alfonso Pedraza, a former Leeds loanee, was an unused substitute on Spain's bench, as was Robin Koch, who has joined the squad as a permanent member.

The first

fact about Junior Firpo

is that he signed a contract with

FC Barcelona

on August 4, 2019, after the conclusion of the European Championship. A total of 43 games, seven assists, and five goals concluded his Real Betis playing career.

At the Nou Camp, he made his FC Barcelona debut against his former club Betis on August 25, 2019, and his team was victorious, winning 5-2. Junior made his UEFA Champions League debut on November 27th, when Barcelona defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at the Nou Camp. He played 90 minutes in the match.

The 2020/21 La Liga season saw Junior's last appearance for the Barcelona, who beat SD Eibar 1-0 at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium in Ipurua, Peru. On Tuesday, July 6, 2020, Firpo officially joined

Leeds United

from Barcelona.

Top facts about Junior Firpo:

An important fact about Junior Firpo is that he is the first player from the Dominican Republic to make it to the first team of FC Barcelona, having done so in 2012.

In addition, he has the distinction of being the first player from the Dominican Republic to compete in La Liga. The other three Dominicans who made it through the Spanish top flight were not natives of the nation in which they were raised.

Junior Firpo early life

On August 22, 1996, Junior Firpo was born. Hector Junior Firpo Adames is his birth name. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is where he was born.

Speaking about

Junior Firpo’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he moved to Benalmadena,

Malaga

, Andalusia, with his family when he was six years old. He is Dominican and Spanish at the same time. He is a member of the African ethnic group. There is no information regarding

Junior Firpo’s parents

.

Junior Firpo personal life

An important fact about Junior Firpo is that he is a single guy according to his personal life. He is, however, in a relationship with Julia Torralbo, his lovely girlfriend. There are two children in the family: a boy and a girl. Their wedding details have yet to be released to the public.

As a result, we won't be able to clearly declare his relationship status until he chooses to come out in the public. He is in a loving relationship with his wife and children, and they are enjoying a happy life together.

Junior Firpo professional career

Junior Firpo's professional career began when he joined Real Betis at the age of 18 in 2015 from CD Puerto Malagueño.

Firpo holds dual citizenship for the Domincan Republic - where he lived until he was six - and Spain. He represented Spain's youth teams at Under-21s level.

Junior Firpo club career

Junior, who was born in Santo Domingo, came to Benalmádena, Málaga, Andalusia, when he was six years old and joined Real Betis' junior setup in June 2014, when he was 18 years old, from Puerto Malagueo.

Real Betis

On February 15, 2015, he made his professional debut with the reserves, beginning a 1–1 home draw against Granada B in the Segunda División B championship.

A notable

fact about Junior Firpo

is that he was clearly promoted to the B-side before of the 2015–16 season, and he featured on a regular basis during the season, which ended in relegation. He made his senior debut on April 17, 2016, when he scored the third goal in a 4–0 away victory against Algeciras.

Junior's contract was extended until 2021 on August 1, 2017, after completing the whole preseason with the first team.

The following 12 February, he made his first team – and La Liga – debut, starting in a 1–0 away loss against Deportivo La Corua, becoming the first Dominican Republic-born player to appear in La Liga.

Junior scored his first professional goal on March 17, 2018, in a 3–0 home victory against

Espanyol

. He agreed to a contract extension until 2023 on August 19, after being promoted to the main team.

Barcelona

A notable fact about Junior Firpo is that he signed a five-year contract with Barcelona on August 4, 2019, for €18 million plus €12 million in add-ons.

Three weeks later, he made his debut in a 5–2 home triumph against his previous club Betis, replacing Rafinha for the last nine minutes.

An important fact about Junior Firpo is that he scored his first and second goals for Barcelona in a 2–0 victory against

Getafe

on September 28. In a 3–1 group stage win against Borussia Dortmund on November 27, he made his UEFA Champions League debut.

Firpo scored his second (and only) goal for Barça in a 5–1 home triumph against Alavés on February 13, 2021.

Leeds United

A notable

fact about Junior Firpo

is that he signed a four-year contract with Premier League team Leeds United on July 6, 2021, for a sum of €15 million plus add-ons, with Barcelona holding 20% of his future sales. After Ezgjan Alioski's contract ended, he is likely to take Alioski's spot at left back.

He made his first appearance for the club in that position on 14 August, coming in as a tactical replacement for Rodrigo in a 5–1 defeat at Old Trafford in the second half of the season opener.

Junior Firpo international career

Despite being born in the Dominican Republic, he has lived in Spain for the bulk of his life and is a dual citizen of the two nations.

An important fact about Junior Firpo is that he played the whole second half of the

Dominican Republic

senior national team's 0–6 non-FIFA friendly defeat against the Brazil Olympic squad on October 9, 2015.

Junior was called up to Spain's under-21 squad on August 31, 2018, for two 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against Albania and Northern Ireland. On September 7, he made his debut, starting in a 3–0 triumph against the former.

Junior Firpo style of play

Junior Firpo, who has long seemed to be a good fit for Barcelona's style of play, was enticed to Elland Road for what are believed to be his most productive years, which is a testament to Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa's influence.

He would join the superb collection of Latin players already in place in Bielsa's plans when he joined for a cost of £13 million in July 2021, when he would be 25 years old.

"I am familiar with the coach that he is, and he is, in my opinion, a pretty excellent coach," Firpo said after signing a four-year deal that allows Barça to maintain a 20 percent sell-on provision in the agreement.

The way he wants to play is to press all the time and play one against one many times, and that's not my game. Physical football, sprinting, and possessing the ball are not an issue for me, and he will assist me in progressing to the next level."

In a back four, the left-footed Firpo is as comfortable as he is in the attacking third, playing front of three central defenders on the left flank. He has a lot of promise when it comes to defending during transitions, especially when it comes to the recovery runs he is capable of making.

As astonishing as his ability to sprint over long distances, his acceleration is supplemented by his lightning-quick reflexes, which allow him to recognize turnovers as they occur and react before the ball handler can gain significant ground on him.

Following his recovery from his defensive position, Firpo excels in dueling for possession, in which he can press and grab the ball from the side of an opponent without conceding free kicks.

The situations in which he is less successful are when he is defending one-on-one, front on, and this is especially true when he is obliged to do so from within his team's defensive third. Especially on his better left side, he sometimes struggles to stop opponents from crossing into the penalty area, particularly those who like attacking around him.

Though he can effectively stall and jockey, he too frequently fails to prevent crosses, even on his weaker right side. The only time he is more effective is when opponents cut into the box to generate a chance to shoot at goal, and he is effective to the point where he often blocks or intercepts their attempts.

It makes no difference whether Firpo is playing at full-back or wing-back; his positioning is incredibly aggressive due to his understanding of his ability to make those crucial recovery runs when the situation calls for it.

When his teammates move into the infield, his forward runs become more successful as a result of the freedom he gains from being able to push forward with the ball or receive under less pressure when his teammates do likewise.

When he reaches advanced positions, he prioritizes providing crosses to individuals who are making runs, generally by hitting through the middle of the ball in a manner similar to that of performing a pass, rather than whipping the ball to his chosen destination.

From his teammates' perspectives, his deliveries across them, or cut-backs to them, are simpler to complete from than his other teammates'.

Because of tight defensive blocks, the identical deliveries only succeed in reaching those making runs towards the near post; if they reach those at the far post, it is because defenders have missed the ball or because teammates have successfully misled defenders via the use of fakes.

His offensive range will be enhanced if he can improve the accuracy and timing of his aerial delivery, allowing him to strike from more advanced territory with more effectiveness.

However, Firpo is demonstrating an increased understanding of the need to vary his positioning in relation to his teammates, particularly to the extent that he makes intelligent, well-timed runs to create space for others.

Firpo is also demonstrating an increased understanding of the need to vary his positioning in relation to his teammates, particularly to the extent that he makes intelligent, well-timed runs to create space for others.

Despite the fact that his runs stay relatively straight, they are effective in driving opponents into deeper territory and, as a result, creating more space between the lines.

The fact that he balances this by keeping cool while under pressure and playing out from defence, and that he is aware of when to penetrate forwards through a pass or dribble and when to be patient and maybe recycle possession, adds to his efficacy.

Firpo's major responsibility during the 2020/21 season was to provide protection for

Jordi Alba

, although he was also deployed to the right flank on a handful of occasions.

A back three was preferred by

Ronald Koeman

, and Firpo was encouraged to move forward from his position at right wing-back, and to the extent that he could receive possession alongside Barça's most advanced players, and capitalize on this by combining effectively with his closest inside forward or, in the event of a front two being preferred, one withdrawing into a deeper position.

Being in such an advanced position meant he didn't have to wait for his teammates to move infield before pushing forward, which meant there were more opportunities for him to take advantage of space in behind opposing defenses by crossing at an earlier stage of an attack, where his low deliveries complemented those making runs through the center of the pitch.

He also had more opportunities to score goals as a result of his increased responsibility to provide their attacking width.

Firpo raced over the outer shoulder of his opponent full-back to advance in behind before connecting with a runner, and such moves from wing-back were often supported by straight passes played from Barça's wider central defenders as they moved into midfield via the inner channels.

Frenkie de Jong's ability to dribble out of the defensive third was similarly beneficial to him, although this time via passes played into his feet rather than through his legs.

Without a doubt, the existence of three center defenders meant that there were occasions when recovery runs were less essential, and that even when they were, he had more time to complete them.

When Barça switched to a more typical 4-3-3 formation, Firpo played as an overlapping left-back, with the player encouraged to make an increased amount of runs and moves before receiving the ball in the attacking third.

He routinely extended the field by rushing in behind and therefore generating extra room for players like as

Lionel Messi

,

Antoine Griezmann

, Pedri, and others to operate.

Those identical moves also dragged his opponent's full-back into deeper area, and he was able to draw his opponent's wide midfielder into the attack on a regular basis.

In his role as a full-back, Firpo was able to improve his overall performance by moving into the midfield and making forward runs to receive in wide areas from which to cross, among other things.

He had a greater influence on the formation of attacks, in addition to being the one who delivered the final ball across goal, and he did so with the necessary awareness that meant his movements complemented those of the closest forward and central midfielder – most commonly Griezmann and

Pedri

– and to the extent that he also provided underlapping runs on occasion.

The importance of his ability to make recovery runs and to defend during transitional periods was also increased when playing at full-back.

Barça's forward momentum was retained as a result of successful duels and recoveries achieved from counter-pressing efforts. Firpo's deeper defense, especially when defending in broad area with limited help, was more likely to be exposed when the team was playing in a more compact block.

Firpo's posture and body form are generally excellent in such situations, but he continues to leave an excessive amount of space between himself and the ball. As a result, his opponent was given much too much room to run about and then cross the ball, which Firpo would struggle to stop if he didn't have any help.

Junior Firpo adaptation at Leeds

Junior moved to Spain from the Dominican Republic, where he represented the nation at under-21 level, and joined Real Betis as a professional footballer. In 17/18, he made his debut La Liga appearance, and he went on to make 14 more appearances totaling over 1000 minutes.

He scored twice and provided two assists throughout this period. His greatest breakthrough came in his second season, when he played 2314 minutes in 29 games across all competitions, scoring three goals and assisting on five others.

Junior was used as a left wing-back in a 3–4–2–1 formation under Quique Setien, and his quickness and energetic runs forward made him a major attacking weapon for Betis.

Barcelona opted to recruit both a player and a manager after this season: Junior signed for nearly €18 million in the summer of 19/20, while Setien arrived in January.

However, none of them were successful at Camp Nou. Junior was sold at a loss when Setien was fired after Blaugrana were humiliated by

Bayern Munich

in the Champions League. Junior had only played 2144 minutes in Catalunya in two seasons.

It's definitely a risky deal, given the 25-year-terrible old's performance in the previous two seasons. Leeds can't afford to pay big money for big names.

Instead, they must look for up-and-comers who are tearing it up in lower-tier leagues, such as Noa Lang, or take a chance on players who have made moves to top clubs that haven't worked out, betting that their quality would still be an improvement to Leeds and relying on their ability to nurture the player to reach their full potential. Junior belongs to the second group.

Even if this deal backfires and Junior fails to live up to expectations, Leeds haven't spent a fortune on him and will most likely be able to recoup a significant percentage of their investment.

Junior seems to be the sort of player that would fit into Marcelo Bielsa's system nicely. He stands at a height of little over six feet and has a powerful, athletic build. Given Leeds' problems at set-pieces in 20/21, this extra height might be quite useful.

He accelerates quickly and maintains an excellent pace over long distances. He's accustomed to covering a lot of ground as a wing-back at Betis, which will help him adapt to Leeds' relentless pressing tactics. His off-the-ball abilities and ability to deliver deadly low crosses are his main assets.

In offense, he is unquestionably a net plus for the club. Junior may not be a terrific defender, but his athleticism may be able to compensate for some of his flaws under the man-marking system, if not all. In the build-up phase, he'll be an upgrade as well.

Junior Firpo offensive abilities

Junior's off-the-ball sprinting is exceptional while his side is in the offensive phase. He has a strong assault on space and can reach speeds that make him tough to cope with for a stationary fullback.

It's been noted that he makes these runs on a regular basis, which is encouraging in terms of his ability to integrate into Leeds' system, where well-practiced offensive moves will often prompt him to make these kind of runs.

There are deep runs, such as the goal he scored for Betis against Barcelona, which was more of a counterattack since he started his run in his own half and was released in behind to score.

He can also be seen overlapping and underlapping to get to the byline and smash the ball across goal, as well as making a run forwards as the sole outlet on the left while assisting a goal against Real Madrid.

Junior seems to be one of the most dangerous goal threats in the league, despite the fact that he hasn't scored many goals in his career.

Junior is a powerful and athletic young man who may be tough to stop once he gets going. As a result, when he's carrying the ball, he's a true weapon. Leeds often use Luke Ayling's ball-carrying to advance the ball up the field on the right side of the field.

Across the five major European leagues, only Lionel Messi carried the ball further than Ayling. Leeds could benefit greatly from having Junior on the opposite side, since Alioski was a poor ball progressor.

It's worth noting that he may make terrible selections while trying for these runs, such as charging into crowded areas and resulting in turnovers.

Junior Firpo defensive abilities

He can carry the ball well under pressure, and he's accustomed to rapid passes under pressure from his time with Barcelona. Simply because of these factors, he should be a level higher than Alioski.

He has the physical traits to execute the press and plays with the necessary energy, so it shouldn't be too difficult for him to adapt. He'd be fast to get out to the ball when needed, which is exactly what he'd need to do for Leeds.

He closes down space fast, but when it comes to winning the ball, he can become a little crazy and commit some dumb fouls. He'd be smart to remove this out of his game since Leeds struggle to defend set-pieces. He will be a considerably better defender if he can learn to go out fast to the opponent and then manipulate them into turning backwards or turning over the ball.

Junior didn't have to defend in 1v1 situations often while at Betis since he was more of an attacking player than a defender. Coming into the Leeds team, where he'd predominantly play in the back four, he'd be expected to do a lot more of this.

He moves with quick steps and adopts a side-on, knees bent posture to respond to an attacker's movement, but when it comes to making a challenge, he might be weak and hang a leg out without committing, allowing him to be defeated too easily.

His agility allows him to deal effectively with more explosive attackers, as he did in the Champions League against

Mbappe

(Junior played on the right side of the back three for this game).

If defeated in wide areas, he possesses the speed to recover and the muscle to knock a quick winger off the ball. More technical dribblers, on the other hand, may get the better of him, and he's been known to throw up fouls much too readily in these situations.

If his opponent is able to push inside and overwhelm the center, another player will be forced to forsake their man and rush to the ball, perhaps resulting in some major opportunities being given away.

However, Alioski isn't especially great in this area either, so Junior isn't likely to be a downgrade in this regard. When it comes to defensive posture, the most apparent thing to mention is that he is often invisible during defensive transition.

This is because his forward runs are so aggressive that if the ball is turned over when his side is transitioning to the offensive phase, he is just too high up the pitch to make it back to defend. When he isn't too high up the field, his speed makes him a useful defensive transition weapon since he can catch up to speedy wingers.

His defensive stance and awareness are not very excellent outside of such situations. It's evident at such instances that he hasn't spent his whole career on the left side of a back four.

When his team is keeping a higher line, he might be caught off guard since he is entirely oblivious of wingers making runs outside of him into vast open space. Due to his athleticism, he can sometimes recover this, but there are occasions when he has given them such an advantage that there is no way back.

Some quick facts about Junior Firpo:

A Spanish international, although being born in the Dominican Republic, he was named European champion with the U21 squad this summer, despite his origins. During his time with the Dominican national team, he only appeared in one friendly match for the senior squad, against the Brazil U23s.

Like many other full-backs, he began his professional career as a winger before settling into the position of full-back.

He moved to Málaga when he was six years old and played for a number of different local clubs, including Atlético Benamiel, Tiro Pichón, and Puerto Malagueo.

With his first pay check as a professional, he decided to put the money towards earning his driver's license.

A notable fact about Junior Firpo is that he has only played against FC Barcelona once, last season at the Camp Nou, when Real Betis came away with a 3-4 victory. In the encounter, Firpo supplied an assist for Sergio Canales and also scored a goal for his own team.

An important fact about Junior Firpo is that he was the 25th player in history to have represented both Real Betis and FC Barcelona on the field. In addition to Ramón Maria Calderé and Sánchez Jara, José Manuel Pinto and Sergio Garca as well as Damià Abella, Marc Bartra, Martn Montoya and Cristian Tello, there are a number of other actors who have done so.

As a 1996-born player for Barça's first squad, he shared his birthday with another member of the team, Arthur. Junior Firpo is a versatile athlete who has competed in basketball and baseball in the Dominican Republic in addition to soccer.

Junior Firpo social media

Regarding

Junior Firpo social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@juniorfirpo3

) with 679k followers. In the page we can see various pictures of him with his family.

He also has a Twitter account (

@JuniorFirpo03

) with more than 192k followers. He often posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Junior Firpo body measurements

Speaking about

Junior Firpo body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the player is 184 cm and 78 kg.

Junior Firpo net worth and salary

Junior Firpo makes a living as a professional football player. Contracts, wages, bonuses, and endorsements are all sources of money for him.

In 2019, he signed a five-year contract with Barcelona for €18 million with €12 million in add-ons.

Junior Firpo’s net worth

is €26 million as of 2021, with a salary of €5 million and a market value of roughly €25 million.

He is very young to have this net worth. In the future, we can expect a huge and rapid increase in his net worth because he has great potential as a versatile player.

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source: SportMob

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