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Joël Matip Wants Champions League Football With Liverpool

The center-back has his sights set on playing in Europe next season.

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Joël Matip has impressed in his first season at Liverpool. When he plays in the heart of the Reds’ defense, they look much more competent. Because of this, the lanky Cameroonian has quickly become an Anfield favorite, and he admits that he wants what we all want out of this season: a top four finish and a spot in the Champions League.

“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 said.

“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.”

Asked about why he picked Liverpool to be his new club, it’s no surprise that it was Klopp who was the real sweetener.

“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.”

Klopp seems to be similarly taken with Matip. The young center-back looks to be the first step in the manager’s overhaul of Liverpool’s leaky defense. If rumors of Liverpool’s interest in Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk are true, Liverpool may even be able to compete with those big names if they do, in fact, make it into the Champions League.