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Matip: “You Play Football For These Kinds Of Moments”

Joël Matip spoke to the Liverpool website about the excitement of getting to play for a trophy at Wembley Stadium and the challenge that Chelsea presents.

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Liverpool Prepare for the Carabao Cup Final Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool will face Chelsea in the final of the Carabao League Cup final at Wembley Stadium this evening, and while the League Cup is far from the most prestigious trophy in English football, it’s still exciting to win it. Fans (and sometimes even coaches and players) may make light of the competition on occasion, but when it comes to a final, everyone involved gets up for it.

Joël Matip explained how excited he and the rest of his team are to have a chance to win some silverware in an interview with the Liverpool FC website yesterday.

“Wembley is a special place for special moments and if you go to a final, it’s a chance to lift a trophy,” said Matip. “Everybody is looking forward to this and to take the opportunity.”

“I think everybody in this team is hungry for more and we want to win the game. With the experience we have in our team, I think it can help us in the game, for the final, and we are ready for it.”

While Liverpool have been extremely successful during Jürgen Klopp’s tenure as manager, the domestic competitions have often been relegated to chances for bench and youth players to get some minutes while Klopp focused on the Premier League and Champions League. That’s changed this season though, with Liverpool reaching the League Cup Final and looking primed to make a run at the FA Cup as well, and Matip is thrilled.

“It’s just a chance to win a big thing in a big stadium and everybody wants to win as many trophies as they can. So far we are not that successful in the domestic cup finals but now we are in the final and we want to take that chance,” said the center-back.

“That’s always a special thing to really celebrate with the supporters – you play football for these kinds of moments. To lift the trophy together with the supporters, these are the things you never forget.”

As for how Liverpool have prepared for the match, Matip says they’re simply trying to block out the distractions and treat it like any other game

“This is a special game but we approach it like every game. The next game is always the most important but, of course, a final is always something special.

“But we have to concentrate on football and we have to get the outside noise away and concentrate on football – this is the most important thing. And when we do this, it’s looking good I think.”

The Reds will have their work cut out for them at Wembley. Chelsea have proven to be a tough opponent, playing Liverpool to a pair of draws in the current league campaign. They have quality all over the pitch and Liverpool will need to be at their best to emerge victorious.

“They [Chelsea] are a complete team with a really good defense and offensively they speak for themselves and the quality in their midfield,” said Matip. “With the kind of quality they have, they are just one of the best sides in Europe and for a reason, they won the Champions League last year.”

“But we will not hide. We are also a really good team and we are confident to win.”