|Desc||For all the attention that the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have received for Liverpool’s stellar form, Joel Matip might perhaps be the most underrated Reds player. The Cameroon international arrived at Anfield for free from Schalke in 2016, and gradually became one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s team sheet in the following seasons. Matip formed a solid centre-back partnership with Van Dijk, which was integral to the Reds’ Champions League success and their second-placed Premier League finish in 2019|
|Org||Cameroon National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
2019 06 01 Retrieve
[Robertson & Alexander-Arnold provided a constant supply line and countless assists] How many runs Robbo and Trent make, I don’t know. It has a big impact on our defending, because the wingers of the other team get tired.
2019 06 09 Retrieve
[Liverpool’s Joel Matip has praised manager Jurgen Klopp’s impact on both the team and the city] Everyone in Liverpool has worked very hard for this. But Klopp is the decisive factor. He has put the team together and led it to where it is now. No question: Klopp is the mastermind of this title. He is a ‘human catcher’ who conquered the whole city of Liverpool - or maybe even whole England - with his enthusiasm. The club, the city, the team, everyone is straight behind him, unconditionally. It’s something like Kloppomania here! Because he is how he is. Genuine and real - simply Kloppo.
[Matip admits the scenes in Madrid - and back in Liverpool - were like nothing he has ever seen before] 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 joined Liverpool in 2016 from the Bundesliga and revealed he could one day return to the German top flight] 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
2017 08 05 Retrieve
[Joel Matip gives insight into manager Jurgen Klopp’s tactics and personality] Jurgen Klopp knows what he wants from every player - fast counter-pressing with direct attacks, but also a clean and structured build-up with specific position-play. But of course, if we lose the ball, the first step is towards the ball and not back to defend at our box. We are defending very high. It begins with the strikers, who run up to the opponent and cover a lot of metres, which allows us defenders to play very high too. It’s hard to describe Klopp’s aura. He is very affable, yet direct. Even when there is something wrong, he is straight with you, but in a cordial manner. He’s straight but cordial. It’s hard to say that in one word
2019 10 17 Retrieve
[Having been given the international break to recover, Matip returned to training at Melwood this week and will hope to start against United on Sunday] I’m back in training and hopefully I will stay fit. I’m back in training and I feel good. Of course, if I’m needed, I will be there. Injuries [happen] to a player. Now I’m back, I hope I stay fit and I can focus on the positives
2019 10 17b Retrieve
[Matip is a third late fitness boost for Liverpool as they take on Man Utd after he picked up a knock against Sheffield United in September, leading him to miss games against Red Bull Salzburg and Leicester City] I’m back in training and hopefully I will stay fit. I’m back in training and I feel good. Of course, if I’m needed, I will be there. Injuries [happen] to a player. Now I’m back, I hope I stay fit and I can focus on the positives
2019 10 18 Retrieve
[Liverpool defender Joel Matip has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League leaders, extending his stay at Anfield to the summer of 2024] It’s a great feeling to be a longer part of the club. It’s really just a great feeling. From outside, you know Liverpool is such a big club - but when you are inside, then you really get a feeling for how big the club is. In all the countries, the supporters are everywhere. It’s a massive and big club that I think every player would want to play for
[Matip had been rotated with the likes of Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren but he has now started six of Liverpool’s eight games in the league this term] We have a young and talented team and I think every one of us is hungry. Now we’ve seen how it is to win something and we want to have that feeling again. There are a lot of things still to achieve. You never know how it will end, you just have to work hard and do the best you can do. Then we will see. It is an honour to be a part of the club. It makes me happy that people think I’ve done a good job and they want to keep me
2020 03 23 Retrieve
[Matip reveals awkward encounter with Barca star after Liverpool comeback] After the game, we lined up arm-in-arm in front of the Kop together and sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the fans. That was one of the most beautiful moments of my career, maybe on the same level as my debut for Schalke in Munich. I didn’t care about anything; I was floating on air after singing with the fans. And when I came into the doping test room, there was a guy sitting there pretty depressed - Lionel Messi. You know each other from the pitch, but it’s not like you sit around with them every day in a small room like you’re getting coffee. Everyone is celebrating, and I’m sitting in a cubicle with Messi.
[Klopp and his players still aren’t always on quite the same wavelength] Sometimes I’m the only one in the dressing room who understands his jokes straight away. I sit on the side and watch the others thinking about it. When the coach says things like ‘that was not the yellow from the egg,’ which means ‘that wasn’t exactly brilliant,’ only the assistant coach and I burst out laughing. Then I have to explain what the sentences mean to the others
[Matip also reserved some praise for Firmino] The boy dresses as if he had completely stripped a mannequin. But he can pull it off. I look like a Bond villain in these clothes
2020 05 05 Retrieve
[Divock Origi’s second of the game booked a place in the final, and set Liverpool up for a sixth European Cup triumph, with Trent Alexander-Arnold teeing him up with a clever set-piece] I was slowly on the way to the box, so in centre-back style I was slowly going from back to front! I thought maybe in 20 seconds there would be a corner coming in or something like this; I came forward and had a nice view of the whole situation. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t know what had happened because he just put the ball in. I thought, ‘What is this?’ Then I saw Divock there and the ball in the net afterwards […] I was a little bit confused, to be honest. But after a few seconds, everybody was celebrating so I just joined in
I think after Gini’s [Wijnaldum] first one it was like, ‘Oh, we’re going to win this game’ because we’d played well. After his second, I thought, ‘OK, today we can do it’. But you never know because you know who you play against and you don’t even have to play badly, these strikers can have a magic moment and can score.
Of course, the game in Camp Nou was not bad but they scored three goals and we knew it would be a really tough, tough game at Anfield - we knew we’d need something special to happen if we were to reach the final. We thought, ‘Let’s win this game’ but we never could have imagined how it would turn out in the end. Of course, we’d played so well there, in Camp Nou, against Barcelona, against one of the strongest sides in the world at home, so there was something to be positive about - but they scored the goals and we didn’t. We knew if we repeated that performance, make a few adaptations and use our chances, then for sure everyone was confident we could beat them on the night, but we didn’t think about the result in the end. Of course, if you miss some players with the quality of Bobby [Firmino] and Mo [Salah], every team would miss them and it’s not perfect. We still had enough players and a lot of quality, and the team together can achieve a lot of things
2020 06 30 Retrieve
[Joel Matip to miss the rest of Liverpool’s season with foot injury] This season I will be not back on the pitch but for next season, I hope I’m going to be quite early a direct help for the team