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Carabao Cup

Matip: 'It's a special place for football all over the world'

The Liverpool defender has a ‘special connection’ to the competition.

16 February 2022

Liverpool defender Joël Matip is relishing the thought of walking out at the home of football when the Reds lock horns with Chelsea in the 2022 Carabao Cup Final at the end of this month.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will make the trip down to the capital on Sunday 27 February, looking to make it a record ninth triumph in the competition, having last laid claim to the League Cup a decade ago.

The Wembley Stadium Final is now just over a fortnight away and the countdown has already begun for the 30-year-old.

“It’s a special place for football all over the world,” he mused, speaking exclusively to the EFL. “For moments like this – these great, special moments – this stadium is for special moments. Moments like this can give you a positive boost.”

Matip professed to have a sentimental attachment to the competition, having made his Reds bow in this competition in a 5-0 victory over Burton Albion in August 2016, after arriving in Merseyside from Schalke.

He added: “It was my first official game in a Liverpool shirt so there will always be a special connection."

And the centre-half is looking forward to taking up his place at the heart of the Reds backline on the biggest stage of all.

“We’re ready to go,” he said. “We have a lot of experience in the team and a lot of quality that will help us. To get to a Final and have a chance to win a trophy is always a big thing to be there.

“It’s never been an easy competition with all the games we have in the League and Cup competitions, but we stay focused, and we’ve worked hard to be where we are now.”

Liverpool will face Thomas Tuchel’s side in the Final and, on the back of two close encounters with the West Londoners when the teams met in the top-flight earlier this season, and the Reds stalwart believes they have what it takes to get past their Premier League rivals this time around.

“Chelsea are a great team,” he said. “We have to be 100% ready to face even the harder moments in the game. With our quality, I’m quite confident that we can win.”

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