Carra: Recent run has earned us respect

Liverpool hero Jamie Carragher says Liverpool’s recent run of form should answer critics of the FIFA Club World Championship. Some of those critics had been claiming that the tournament wasn’t exactly representative of the best teams in the world, all the more so because Liverpool were Europe’s representatives. Now Carra says that the European Champions are playing like European Champions: “If the tournament was being played just after the European Cup final, maybe it would have been fair enough for people to say we weren’t particularly the best team to represent Europe. I don’t think anyone could say that now. There aren’t many teams in Europe who can be playing as well as we are. We’re in the tournament on merit for our achievements last season and we’re a much better side now than when we won the Champions League.”

Jamie hints that Liverpool perhaps weren’t getting the recognition their achievement last May deserved. Things are changing though as Liverpool improve: “I think we’ll do ourselves, the Premiership and the rest of Europe justice. The manager said we would improve a few months ago and now we’re proving it. Our results show that. Maybe we’re starting to get a bit more respect for our performances and our achievements. We certainly deserve it for what we’ve done in the last eight months. If we can get the title champions of the world, we should get even more.”

Jamie is someone who enjoys watching the game as much as he enjoys playing it. He knows this chance is something open to only a very few: “It means a lot to me to play in this competition. You’re not going to get many opportunities in your career to play in the World Club Championship. It’s a competition a lot of players don’t even get the chance to take part in, never mind win. I’m sure it’s something I’ll be able to look back on in years to come and I would love to get a winners’ medal. The way I look at it is we’re two wins away from another important trophy, and one which we may never get the chance to win again.”

Liverpool’s first match in the tournament kicks off at 10.20am GMT, against Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa.