Amid the race for a top-four finish, Joel Matip says a club of Liverpool’s prestige belongs in the Champions League.

The Reds have not featured in Europe’s premier club competition since 2014, when they slumped to group stage exit under Brendan Rodgers.

However, in Jurgen Klopp’s first full season at the helm, they look set to record just their second top-four finish of the decade.

Liverpool currently sit third in the Premier League and whilst their rivals do have games in hand, they remain in pole position.

Matip, who insists he did not set any targets at the beginning of the season, is relishing the prospect of returning to the European stage.

The defender told Sky Sports:

Before the season I did not expect something like this, I just wanted to concentrate on the games and I did not have a target.

But now we are in this position, we want to try and keep it and get more and more.

Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport

A club like Liverpool belongs in the Champions League, so we will fight to stay or get there. With all its trophies and history, it is one of the biggest clubs, everybody knows this. Big history, big club.

Everybody knows something about Liverpool, it speaks for itself, this is Liverpool. It is such a great club with this history.

I want to play in the Champions League because then you play against the biggest teams and the biggest players and everybody will enjoy this.

The 25-year old, a summer arrival from Schalke, has emerged as one of the team’s most important players this season.

Reflecting on the move, Matip says the combination of an iconic club and top manager was irresistible.

In Germany everybody knows him. He was famous for his work with Dortmund. He is a really good coach, I can learn a lot from him and he will make me better.

If a club like Liverpool asks, in combination with this manager, then you do not have to think a lot about it.

Up next for Jurgen Klopp’s men in their hunt for the top four is a clash with Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday.

Read more from David Comerford