Liverpool ace Joel Matip speaks out on future as Jurgen Klopp plans contract extension


The Cameroonian centre-back helped Liverpool to win the Champions League earlier this month and ended the year as Virgil van Dijk’s partner in central defence.

Matip’s performances were crucial in the Reds’ progress to the final, where they beat Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid, while he also played 22 times in the Premier League as Liverpool finished one point behind champions Manchester City.

The 27-year-old’s future had been uncertain heading into 2019 with injuries having blighted his time at Anfield since a free transfer from Schalke in the summer of 2016.

But his displays in the last six months have won over supporters and Jurgen Klopp is reportedly keen to hand Matip a new contract.

The defender is not certain to put pen-to-paper on a new deal with his status as first-choice far from guaranteed next season.

He was only thrust back into Klopp’s starting eleven following injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, with the former having been the manager’s go-to centre-half alongside Van Dijk.

But Matip has dropped a hint that he sees himself staying at Liverpool for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to Bild am Sonntag, he said when asked about a return to the Bundesliga: ”In football nothing is impossible. At the moment I still have two years remaining in my contract here at Liverpool.

“After some problems and injuries at the beginning meanwhile I feel very comfortable here. And I’ve been more mature as a player and as a person here in England.”

Matip had spent his entire professional career with Schalke before his switch to England three years ago, having come through the German outfit’s academy.

And the towering defender admitted he remains passionate about the Royal Blues – admitting he feared for their Bundesliga status in 2018-19 as they hovered above the relegation zone before ending five points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

“There is still a lot of room for Schalke in my heart,” added Matip. “That never stops. 

“Accordingly, my worries about this club were very big. I try to watch every single game on TV. It can only get better for the new season.”

Liverpool’s Champions League triumph was the third major trophy of Matip’s career after winning the DFB Pokal with Schalke in 2011, following that up with the DFL Supercup later the same year against arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund, then managed by Klopp.

On the Reds’ sixth European triumph, Matip said: “It is still hard to realise. It’s simply madness what our win has triggered.

“The whole city was dressed in red when we came back from Madrid. The pure joy, like an ecstasy. These pictures will always remain in my mind. An unbelievable experience.”

Matip will enjoy a summer off despite his country being involved in the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, with the player having opted against representing the Indomitable Lions since 2015. 

Manager Clarence Seedorf sought to get Matip – who played at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups – to change his mind for this summer’s tournament, but he may never play for his country again.

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