A club like Liverpool belongs in the Champions League, says Joel Matip
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 15/04/17 7:34am
A club of Liverpool's size and history belong in the Champions League, according to centre-back Joel Matip.
The Reds travel to high-flying West Bromwich Albion on Sunday lunch time looking to maintain their push for a top-four finish.
Jurgen Klopp's side currently sit third in the Premier League, six points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, albeit having played a game more than the Red Devils in the chase to qualify for qualification for next season's Champions League.
However, Matip believes a club of Liverpool stature should always be competing in Europe's premier club competition.
"Before the season I did not expect something like this, I just wanted to concentrate on the games and I did not have a target," he told Soccer Saturday.
If a club like Liverpool asks, in combination with this manager, then you do not have to think a lot about it
"But now we are in this position, we want to try and keep it and get more and more.
"A club like Liverpool belongs in the Champions League, so we will fight to stay or get there. With all its trophies and history, it is one of the biggest clubs, everybody knows this. Big history, big club.
"Everybody knows something about Liverpool, it speaks for itself, this is Liverpool. It is such a great club with this history.
"I want to play in the Champions League because then you play against the biggest teams and the biggest players and everybody will enjoy this."
Matip arrived at Liverpool from Schalke on a free transfer last summer, with the elegant central defender claiming it was impossible to turn down the chance to play under Klopp at Anfield.
"In Germany everybody knows him," he said. "He was famous for his work with Dortmund. He is a really good coach, I can learn a lot from him and he will make me better.
"If a club like Liverpool asks, in combination with this manager, then you do not have to think a lot about it."
Looking ahead to Sunday's trip to the Hawthorns, though, Matip has predicted another tough examination of Liverpool's top-four credentials, especially against a side with the Baggies' characteristics.
"High balls, free kicks, corners," said the defender of the challenges awaiting him and his team-mates this weekend.
"They know how to act, but it will be a tough, hard fight. We are not afraid of them and are looking forward to it.
"I am not afraid, I will not hide against these players. I will take the fight if I play."
Watch the full interview with Joel Matip on Soccer Saturday from Saturday midday on Sky Sports News HQ