News'We want to be 100 per cent and make a winning start in Linz'
Joel Matip has underscored Liverpool’s desire to deliver a successful run in a Europa League campaign that begins in Linz this evening.
The Reds kick off the group stage by tackling Austrian Bundesliga side LASK in a 5.45pm BST kick-off at Raiffeisen Arena.
Jürgen Klopp’s men come into the tie on the back of an impressive start to the 2023-24 season in the Premier League, with four wins and a draw tallied from five fixtures so far.
And Matip expressed the determination within the squad to mirror that form as they now embark on a new European campaign.
“We play in every competition to get to the final,” the defender told Sky Sports in Germany.
“There is still a long way to go, Linz is the first step. With the quality we have in the squad, I’m confident that we can be successful.
“We also want to win all our games in the Europa League – we want to start in Linz. This is not played with half a cheek, but with 100 per cent.
“Of course, we have a lot of games that we try to spread over all legs and go to Linz to take three points. If we are sleepy, we will be punished.”
Matip arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2016 having spent the entirety of his professional career to that point with Schalke 04.
“Of course, Schalke was my youth club – as a Schalke fan it was an absolute honour to play there,” said the Reds No.32. “I had the opportunity to do that for a long time and here in Liverpool, with these absolute top conditions, you don’t just walk away.
“In addition, I also feel incredibly comfortable here in my private life. I think it’s desirable not to change clubs all the time. But everyone has to decide for themselves. In any case, I find consistency helpful.
“I’m at an age where I don’t think so much about the future anymore. I try to make the most of every day and don’t look too far ahead. If it was only these two clubs in the end, I would be perfectly happy. But in football, you never know exactly.”
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