Andy Robertson has said victory in the Club World Cup can propel Liverpool towards further honours in 2020 as they strive to add the Premier League title to their world and European crowns.
Liverpool’s 1-0 triumph in Qatar delivered a third trophy inside six months and ensured they have won every competition bar the Community Shield. The priority remains a first domestic championship since 1990 and while the unbeaten Premier League leaders have a 10-point lead over Leicester going into their visit to the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day, Robertson believes lifting a first world title in Liverpool’s history can act as extra motivation in the new year.
“That’s three for 2019,” the defender said. “In the calendar year we have won the Champions League, Super Cup and now this. To win three in any calendar year is special – and these are big ones.
“The Champions League is absolutely massive. The Super Cup and the Club World Cup are massive to us. We are really excited about it but we have got to take the momentum into 2020. Hopefully there are a couple more of these scenes of us lifting trophies above our head to come.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win it and it makes this week worthwhile. We took it seriously even though maybe people back in England didn’t. The whole of South America was behind Flamengo. You could see how many fans came over and made a fantastic atmosphere for them. In England, they wanted us to prioritise the Carabao Cup but you don’t get many chances to be world champions. We took ours and rightly so.”
Liverpool were dismayed that, after the trophy presentation, Fifa officials prevented Jürgen Klopp and his players from going on to the running track at the Khalifa International Stadium to celebrate in front of their fans. But nothing could detract from the achievement of winning the club’s first world title at the fourth attempt.
Alisson, a decisive influence against Flamengo as well as in the semi-final victory over Monterrey, has been enraptured by the Club World Cup since his boyhood team Internacional defeated Barcelona in 2006. That sensation was surpassed by lifting the trophy in Doha and, as the Brazil player described it, writing a new chapter in Liverpool’s illustrious history.
The goalkeeper said: “As a supporter you feel you are inside, you are involved, you are there suffering together with the team. It was a good emotion I had with my friends and my family [in 2006] … I love that club but being on the pitch, playing, helping the team, is really fantastic. It’s even more special that it is the first time Liverpool has achieved this title. We put, again, our names in the history of this big club.
“As a team, we are making special things. The boss keeps us together and we try to make the difference not just on the pitch but off the pitch with the supporters. Every time we say, ‘We are Liverpool, this means more,’ maybe it makes no sense for those who are not Liverpool supporters but we really try to make this special for everybody. Not just for us players, but also the supporters who are all around the world following us.
“We need to give the best on the pitch. They have already the history but we are making history again.
“Football is like this. Thursday we have another big match and this is the beauty of football. You always have the new opportunity of new things. We try to make history again because we have a big goal and that is the Premier League and to try to defend the Champions League title.”
Fifa awarded Mohamed Salah the Golden Ball for the player of the tournament, while the match-winner, Roberto Firmino, was named man of the match against Flamengo.
Jordan Henderson had legitimate claims to both individual prizes too, having deputised for Virgil van Dijk in central defence for the first time in his career against Monterrey before producing an outstanding performance in the final.
Robertson said: “We have got big names in our squad but Hendo shows what Liverpool is about. He does it in every single performance he puts in. He showed it when he played centre-back. He cruised it! He was magnificent against Flamengo, the best player on the park.
“Hendo is underappreciated to some but, to us in the dressing room, we appreciate everything he does. That is the most important thing. In England maybe they don’t give him the credit he deserves. That will soon change.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will have a scan on Monday to discover the extent of the ankle ligament damage he sustained against Flamengo. The midfielder, who has been unfortunate with injury during his Liverpool career, rolled an ankle in a second-half challenge with Éverton Ribeiro and was on crutches when the squad departed for home on Sunday.
Liverpool’s medical staff treated the injury during the flight but, with Klopp expressing concern the ligament could be ruptured, Oxlade-Chamberlain requires a scan.
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