In Review

Fifa Club World Cup final: Liverpool ‘addicted’ to success

Anfield side are out for revenge against Brazilians Flamengo

Liverpool face Flamengo tomorrow in the Fifa Club World Cup final in Qatar and Reds midfielder Adam Lallana says they are fully focussed on adding the title to their Champions League crown. 

Despite having won Europe’s showpiece tournament six times, Liverpool have never tasted victory in the Club World Cup.

Even the great Liverpool sides of the 1980s proved incapable of winning the trophy, and in 1981 an Anfield team containing the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen were thrashed 3-0 by a Zico-inspired Flamengo in the Intercontinental Cup, the forerunner of today’s competition.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Brazilians’s victory is still celebrated by their supporters but Lallana says Liverpool are desperate to avenge that defeat. 

“Of course it is an added incentive,” said the England midfielder, who is expected to start tomorrow.

“We are European champions and want to be Club World Cup champions, there’s not many people who can say that. We are going to give it our all.”

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino scored the winning goal against Monterrey

Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

Liverpool reached the final after a tense 2-1 win over Mexican side Monterrey, with Roberto Firmino scoring a late winner for the Premier League leaders. 

“That is all part of the character and the mentality and why we keep churning out late winners,” said Lallana. “It’s as simple as that. The lads we have in this team, coming off the bench, it’s a squad game.”

Having won the Champions League last season, and the Community Shield in August, Liverpool are 90 minutes away from their third piece of silverware in six months. 

“It’s like an addiction, you win one medal and you want to win another, you want to win more,” said Lallana.

Liverpool’s biggest concern ahead of the final is the fitness of central defender Virgil van Dijk. 

The Dutchman missed the semi-final through illness and the Daily Mail reports that manager Jurgen Klopp is “unlikely to take a gamble” tomorrow.

Should Van Dijk be ruled out, captain Jordan Henderson will once again play in defence.

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Fifa Club World Cup fixtures (all times GMT) 

Third-fourth place match 
  • Saturday 21 December: Monterrey vs. Al-Hilal (2.30pm, live on BBC Sport)  
Final 
  • Saturday 21 December: Liverpool vs. Flamengo (5.30pm, live on BBC One)

Today’s back pages

Man Utd fear Paul Pogba exit in January and Carlo Ancelotti agrees £9m-a-year deal with Everton

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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