Adam Lallana said Liverpool are addicted to winning trophies as the Champions League holders look to add the Club World Cup to their collection.

Liverpool face Copa Libertadores champions and Brazilian giants Flamengo in Saturday's Club World Cup final in Doha.

It is another chance for Premier League leaders Liverpool – who are on track to claim their first league title since 1990 – to celebrate silverware under Jurgen Klopp, having won the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup this year.

Liverpool attacker Lallana said: "It's massive. We are European champions and to be world club champions as well – there's not many people who can say that.

"We are going to give it our all. It's like an addiction: you win one medal and you want to win another. You want to win more."

Liverpool booked their spot in the Club World Cup decider after edging Monterrey 2-1 thanks to Roberto Firmino's last-gasp winner.

Flamengo, who beat River Plate in the Libertadores final, overcame 10-man Al Hilal 3-1 in the semi-finals.

"It will be a very tough game," Lallana said. "I'm sure Bobby [Firmino] and Alisson will give us some inside info into them.

"We watched them the other day. They were very dynamic, very aggressive, physical, and we will have to recover quickly. Another trophy is up for grabs so bring it on. It's all about recovery now.

"It's a good job it didn't go to extra time. We will get in the ice baths, get the massages and all guns blazing for Saturday."

Flamengo have every chance of beating Champions League winners Liverpool in the Club World Cup final, according to ex-Brazil internationals Julio Cesar and Bebeto.

Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo came from behind to beat Al Hilal 3-1 in their semi-final clash on Tuesday, while Liverpool edged past Monterrey 2-1 thanks to Roberto Firmino's late effort.

Jorge Jesus' Flamengo stunned River Plate in November's Copa Libertadores decider, with Gabriel Barbosa's last-gasp double securing glory.

Former Brazil and Inter goalkeeper Cesar started and ended his senior career with Flamengo, and he believes his old side can cause another upset in Saturday's final in Doha.

"Flamengo have the opportunity [of winning the championship]. They're very confident and will face Liverpool, a great team, as we know," Cesar told reporters.

"But Flamengo have all conditions of winning this game. Flamengo showed excellent football this year.

"With Jorge Jesus' arrival, the players could quickly understand his philosophy and methodology and this made Flamengo winner of two competitions, the Brazilian Championship and Libertadores. Flamengo is going to this final full of confidence."

Another former Flamengo and Brazil player - Bebeto - echoed Cesar's sentiment, insisting the club will have the entire country behind them.

"I have to keep my heart strong, it's such a joy to see Flamengo, after 38 years, in the fight for their second world title," he said.

"I want that everything can go well and that we can win this title, that's so important. Not only for Flamengo fans but for all Brazilians.

"Flamengo is playing very well, they will fight for this title, it will be a tough game, we all know this. Liverpool is a great team, they are Champions League winners and we are Libertadores winners and also winners at Brazil Championship.

"So, let's go, we have to believe, always."

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is displaying a similar level of quality to Lionel Messi, according to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Salah has won the Premier League's Golden Boot award for the past two seasons - although he shared it with club team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018-19 - and the 27-year-old already has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season.

The former Roma forward has also provided seven assists, a tally which includes teeing up Naby Keita's opening goal in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

With the Egyptian stepping into a playmaker role as well as being an unerringly accurate finisher, Wenger believes Salah is now showing flashes of play on the same level as Barcelona superstar and 2019 Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

"I like his evolution," Wenger told beIN Sports. "Because he had touches [against Monterrey] of a playmaker.

"He created chances around the box that are exceptional, there were shades of Messi in him and I like that a guy who can score so many goals also becomes the guy who gives assists.

"That is a complete player. That's what we all admire and what we want from our players."

Wenger was speaking in a joint interview with Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, who echoed the Frenchman's sentiment.

"Very good, very good experiences [with Salah] but the most positive was on the training ground – sensationally good," Klopp said. "On the pitch he's great, really, really good."

Liverpool take on Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo in the Club World Cup final on Saturday.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane deserved to win this year's Ballon d'Or, according to former Manchester City and Barcelona star Yaya Toure.

Lionel Messi scooped a record sixth Ballon d'Or earlier in December, edging out Mane's club-mate Virgil van Dijk.

However, Toure believes Mane - who scored 26 goals in all competitions last term as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League and won the Champions League - should have claimed the prize.

"To be honest he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or. In Africa we don't see any better players than him," Toure told reporters in Doha, where he is a guest of FIFA at the Club World Cup.

"Did you see the votes, did you see what he did in the last year, how many goals he scored, what he achieved with Liverpool?

"For me it is a shame when a team wins this trophy (the Champions League) and the winner of the Ballon d'Or is not coming from there."

Liverpool currently hold a 10-point advantage over Leicester City at the top of the Premier League and are 14 points clear of third-place Manchester City, and Toure acknowledged the Reds - who are unbeaten in the league - would be worthy champions.

"Liverpool are great, they are doing very well and they deserve their position at the moment," he said.

"There is a long way to go but Liverpool are a good side and they look much stronger than last year. The way I see City is their form this year has been quite complicated but, 10 points in front, Liverpool have a good, good chance.

"When you see the league today there are a few teams who are quite disappointing, like Arsenal and a couple of others, but Liverpool have the chance to have the honours this year."

Having overcome Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday, Liverpool face Flamengo on Saturday in the Club World Cup final.

Jurgen Klopp lauded the "very decisive" Naby Keita and believes there is even more to come from the Liverpool midfielder after reaching the Club World Cup final.

Keita opened the scoring in Liverpool's 2-1 semi-final win over Monterrey on Wednesday to continue his fine run of form.

The Guinea international has netted in three straight games, while he has already matched his goal tally of last season with the three strikes.

Klopp praised Keita and said the 24-year-old could get even better for the Premier League leaders.

"Naby, what a player, very decisive, super goal, another super chance," the Liverpool manager told a news conference.

"That's his strength, in small spaces he feels quite comfortable, so that helps us a lot. The runs in behind when we are already high up the pitch, that's an exceptional skill of his that he goes there.

"He scored already a goal like this, had another chance in a similar situation. But Naby is a player who can score goals. It is not the highest number of games he's played for us, but he's scored a lot of goals already, important goals as well.

"Absolutely brilliant how he did that, and there is so much more to come. Maybe if you know Naby a bit longer you would say, 'OK, that looked really good but there is still some space'. That's absolutely brilliant news for us."

Mohamed Salah's wonderful pass set up Keita's opener, but Liverpool needed a 91st-minute winner from Roberto Firmino after Rogelio Funes Mori had equalised for Monterrey.

With plenty of attention on Egypt international Salah in Qatar, Klopp said he was happy with his star forward's performance.

"First of all the pass for Naby's goal was from Mo, that much to your thesis that he couldn't play the final ball," he said. "The ball for [James] Milner's chance was from Mo as well.

"We are all human beings and the attention on Mo in this part of the world is obviously massive.

"I thought he played a sensationally good game for everything that happened around [him]. When you go out for a warm-up and everyone is only looking at you, I wouldn't feel too comfortable with that. He deals really well with it.

"He was always a threat, he played a really good game, until the last minute he was there for the balls in behind, stuff like this.

"They tried to defend him from time to time with two guys… that's really aggressive but that's how life is, he has to deal with it. But I'm really happy with Mo's game."

Liverpool will aim to win their first Club World Cup title when they face Flamengo in the final on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp suggested the arrival of Takumi Minamino at Liverpool is imminent and admitted he would have liked him in the squad for the Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey.

Minamino was reportedly due to undergo a medical with the Reds on Wednesday ahead of a January move from Salzburg said to be worth £7.25million.

Klopp was forced to send Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on as the Premier League leaders searched for a winner against the CONCACAF Champions League holders, who were level at 1-1 in Doha heading into injury time. 

Firmino turned home a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 91st minute to seal a 2-1 victory and set up a meeting with Flamengo in the final, but the Liverpool boss conceded having Minamino on a bench that included two goalkeepers would have been a big boost.

However, the German was unwilling to say more with the transfer yet to be confirmed.

"I cannot speak about it, sorry. You are too early!" said Klopp.

He added with a smile: "If he would come – it would have been good if we could bring him on. But he's not yet our player so we have to wait for that, sorry."

Liverpool fielded a team of Under-23 players for their EFL Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa on Tuesday due to their Club World Cup commitments and lost 5-0.

Ahead of a congested festive period Klopp was delighted to have avoided an additional 30 minutes against Monterrey.

"I was actually afraid of the extra time to be honest, so I was more than happy when Bobby scored that goal," said Klopp, who deployed Jordan Henderson at centre-back with Virgil van Dijk absent due to illness.

"We had to do a few changes because we had no other options, but we wanted to do some other changes. It means we left Trent out, we left Bobby out and Sadio out, and that gives you then the opportunity when the game is not decided to make the decision.

"That Bobby scored the goal is just wonderful. He came on and was immediately in the game, a really good situation, pass from Mo, maybe not clear enough but he helped us a lot, Sadio with his power and stuff, Trent [supplied] immediate, dangerous crosses, so it helped.

"Staying on track is part of our game. You for sure cannot plan a goal like this, you only think it's not impossible. It was really a super, super goal."

On the chances of Van Dijk returning for the final, Klopp said: "He was yesterday or the day before on the pitch for a couple of minutes until the media left and then unfortunately he had to leave as well, not because of the media but because he didn't feel well.

"But this morning no training was possible and he couldn't play. It was difficult for Hendo to deal with but he did really good and we will see, I don't know how quick he can recover. We will see."

Mohamed Salah felt Liverpool's players were not protected from Monterrey's "very aggressive" tactics in the Reds' Club World Cup semi-final victory on Wednesday.

Liverpool advanced to the Club World Cup final in Doha with a 2-1 success as substitute Roberto Firmino scored a 91st-minute winner midweek.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool had taken the lead through Naby Keita, but a side missing influential defender Virgil van Dijk through illness were pegged back by Rogelio Funes Mori, with the Champions League holders requiring an in-form Alisson to remain on level terms thereafter.

Salah felt the Reds were good value for their win, though he was unhappy with Chilean referee Roberto Tobar's handling of the game and Monterrey's tactics.

The Mexican side had two players booked - Jesus Gallardo and Leonel Vangioni - to Liverpool's one caution, but Klopp's side committed 13 fouls to their opponents' nine.

"I think it was a tough game," Salah told a news conference.

"They were very aggressive against us and all of us were complaining about our legs and they were really aggressive.

"I think the referee doesn't protect us too much. But I'm not here to complain about it.

"I think in the end we showed our quality and we won in the last minute. I think we deserved it."

Egypt international Salah was the star attraction for the crowd in Qatar and he was awarded the man-of-the-match award having set up Keita's opener and played a big part in Firmino's winner.

"I think all the stadium today was Egyptian," Salah added.

"I can hear that today. I feel support everywhere, I'm happy about that.

"I always feel love when they call my name, I feel support from them. I'm happy to hear that from them."

Jurgen Klopp has "no clue" whether Virgil van Dijk will be able to overcome illness to feature in Liverpool's Club World Cup final against Flamengo on Saturday.

Van Dijk missed Wednesday's 2-1 semi-final victory over Monterrey, as the Reds needed a stoppage-time winner from substitute Roberto Firmino in Doha.

With Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren already absent through injury, Liverpool deployed captain Jordan Henderson, nominally a central midfielder, in an unfamiliar centre-back berth alongside Joe Gomez.

Those two may have to play together again against Flamengo if Van Dijk cannot return, though Klopp's squad is due to be reinforced by young stars who were beaten 5-0 by Aston Villa in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

Asked whether Van Dijk would be back for the final, Klopp told BBC Sport: "We have no clue, to be honest.

"We thought when we came here he will be fine for today - he wasn't.

"We'll see, I don't know. We brought now a few kids - Sepp [van den Berg], Ki-Jana Hoever are here, Harvey [Elliott] will come tomorrow. We will see what we can do line up-wise."

Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane all started Wednesday's semi-final on the bench.

However, after Rogelio Funes Mori cancelled out Naby Keita's opener in the first half, the possibility of extra-time loomed for a Liverpool side already facing a gruelling December fixture list.

Thankfully for Klopp and his side, Alexander-Arnold's 91st-minute cross was swept home by Firmino to seal the victory inside normal time.

Klopp was pleased with the performance and also singled out goalkeeper Alisson for praise after he made a string of saves.

"We controlled the game for long periods of time in the first half," Klopp added.

"We played really well for a line-up which is made to control the game, because we had not a lot of defensive players on the pitch, that's the problem.

"Of course, they had their counter attacks. All you need is Alisson Becker in the end. He must be there and he was there in the decisive moments."

Liverpool may have been spared extra-time exertions at the Club World Cup on Wednesday, but the deployment of Jordan Henderson as a makeshift centre-back is an experiment they will not want to repeat.

The Reds needed substitutes Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino to combine in stoppage time to book their place in Saturday's final against Flamengo.

Much has been made of the Reds' squad depth in impressive recent wins over Everton and Bournemouth.

However, in only sneaking past Mexican side Monterrey with a late winner in a 2-1 success, it was evident that there is one man Liverpool cannot do without if they are to end their long wait for a Premier League title this season.

Virgil van Dijk was laid low by illness on Wednesday and with recognised centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip also missing due to injuries, it was left to midfielder Henderson to drop back into a defensive berth.

Henderson may be an adept passer and fine midfielder, a man somewhat unfairly maligned, but a centre-back of Van Dijk's ilk he most certainly is not.

The Reds looked ragged in the first half. Andy Robertson and James Milner were bombing on from the full-back positions as usual, but there was a vulnerability to a defensive duo of Joe Gomez and Henderson.

Both men looked susceptible to balls over the top and there was, understandably, little cohesion between the two when it came to a holding a defensive line.

Henderson was caught out of position when Monterrey cancelled out Naby Keita's opener, an unmarked Rogelio Funes Mori slotting home after Alisson saved Jesus Gallardo's volley.

Gomez earned a booking in the second half when Funes Mori got the wrong side of him, the England international dragging his man down rather than leaving him to face Henderson in a race for the ball.

In the end, as they often do, Liverpool found a way to win, though only after Sadio Mane, Alexander-Arnold and Firmino were thrown on.

Of more concern will be how shaky the Reds looked at the back without their inspirational Dutchman, who remains a doubt for Saturday's final against Flamengo.

Gomez, Lovren and Matip have all been questioned at points in their Liverpool careers, though all three have also had strong spells - usually when playing alongside Van Dijk.

Pundits have questioned whether Liverpool can survive a major injury to their vaunted front three, but it is at the other end of the pitch where they cannot afford a lengthy absence.

Van Dijk has played all but 35 minutes of Liverpool's Premier League games over the past season and a half, and he needs to remain available if they are to maintain their relentless title pace.

Roberto Firmino came off the bench and scored a 91st-minute goal to earn Liverpool a 2-1 win over Monterrey and a spot in the Club World Cup final.

Jurgen Klopp opted to name Firmino and Sadio Mane among the substitutes, while Jordan Henderson started at centre-back with Virgil van Dijk - one of the Reds' two first-team centre-backs in the squad - absent due to illness.

Liverpool looked like they would be able to cope without two of their electric front three when Naby Keita put them ahead in the 11th minute, but Rogelio Funes Mori – the twin brother of former Everton defender Ramiro – hit back three minutes later.

Klopp was forced to send on Mane and Firmino in a bid to avoid extra time and the Brazilian turned home fellow substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold's low cross six minutes after coming on to book a meeting with Flamengo on Saturday.

Virgil van Dijk was not included in Liverpool's squad to face Monterrey due to illness, while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were named on the bench.

Liverpool travelled to Qatar with just two fit first-team centre-backs in Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and with the former ruled out Jordan Henderson was selected to partner his fellow England international in defence for Wednesday's semi-final.

Jurgen Klopp picked Divock Origi to spearhead an attack that included Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah, resting Mane and Firmino with an eye on a potential final against Flamengo on Sunday.

James Milner was selected to start at right-back for his 200th Liverpool appearance, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold was on the bench with two goalkeepers - Adrian and Andy Lonergan – Neco Williams and Curtis Jones.

Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain formed the midfield three with Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum out injured.

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are "fantastic" but would not be as successful without the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson behind them, according to Santiago Solari.

Liverpool's formidable front line have been key to helping Jurgen Klopp's side establish a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League, scoring 22 goals and supplying 13 assists cumulatively.

The trio will no doubt be central to the Reds' chances of winning the Club World Cup, with a semi-final against Monterrey on Wednesday preceding a potential meeting with Flamengo for the trophy.

Solari, who led Madrid to Club World Cup success in 2018, believes Salah, Firmino and Mane are only able to shine so brightly because of the quality backing them up on the pitch.

"They are fantastic of course. These three strikers almost every game score," Solari told Omnisport.

"They're always a threat to any defence. It's about the team when you're successful. They wouldn't be who they are without such a solid midfield and defenders like Van Dijk or a goalkeeper like Alisson. So football, it's all about the team."

Solari was unsure if Klopp can be considered the world's leading coach, but he had no doubt Liverpool have proven themselves to best team on the planet. However, he was unwilling to write off Flamengo as potential Club World Cup champions.

"You never know who's the best manager but you can say who's the best team. Liverpool have proven to be the best team in the last two years," said Solari.

"They're trying to repeat this year. They're Champions League champions and they're playing very well. That will have a lot to do with the manager whom I respect a lot. He's very charismatic.

"I think most important of all, he got Liverpool to play football. It represents the way fans feel. Aggressive, high tempo, I love Klopp and this Liverpool side."

He added: "This tournament is always full of surprises. It's not always the favourite who wins it. In many occasions the South American teams won.

"Independiente won this tournament, Racing, River Plate in 1996. Yes, there's always room for surprise and we'll see who gets to the final."

Yaya Toure has revealed he is reluctant to let his children play football because of the fear they will be racially abused.

The former Manchester City and Barcelona midfielder said he would gladly work with the likes of UEFA and FIFA to combat racism in the game.

Speaking to Omnisport at the Club World Cup in Qatar, Toure also revealed his worry that racism will persist in Italy, where attempts to curb the problem have been frequently hamfisted.

"I'm sometimes emotional about this because racism is something that hurts me all the time," Toure said.

"Because my kids want to play football and want to be a footballer, and I say to him, 'Look, can you not do that?'.

"Sometimes I have to accept it, because I'm refusing him to play football why? Because of this kind of thing."

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport recently faced criticism for its 'Black Friday' front-page headline, trailing the clash of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling in Inter's match with Roma.

And the efforts of Serie A to mount an anti-racism campaign backfired when it used artwork of monkeys as a focal point of its campaign.

Asked about racism in Italy, Toure said: "They're going to continue it. They'll continue it. You just have to understand. Three months ago I was in a conference and there were some people from the federation in Italy who just talked about it. I talked with them and what to do with Lukaku sometimes, or some of the players who don't like it.

"I think they can be better but you have to teach them. It's just about the fans. People tell them they have to be educated but it's different. It's not integration; it's about something different."

The 36-year-old Ivorian said footballers should be free to perform in an environment where "players can express themselves", and added, when asked if he would work with FIFA and UEFA: "Definitely - I want to work with them now."

Toure did not spare World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar from his criticism of the state of the game, citing it and Iraq as being among countries where women are left to feel excluded from football.

He said: "In football, to play something you have to enjoy it, because men or women ... have to play and enjoy and be herself."

Flamengo head coach Jorge Jesus claims his side fear nobody - including Liverpool - after they booked their place in the Club World Cup final.

The Brazilian club came from behind to beat Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal 3-1 in their semi-final at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

Al Hilal took a surprise lead through Salem Al Dawsari before Giorgian de Arrascaeta equalised for the Copa Libertadores champions just after half-time.

Bruno Henrique headed Flamengo ahead before Ali Hadi Albulayhi put through his own net.

"The final for us will be faced without fear of anyone," Jesus said in his post-match news conference.

"When we arrived we thought we could be world champions; now we are in the final. We are a team that never fails in the decisive moments.

"I told the boys, after the first half, that we will have scored. I knew they would fall in the second and we were good at being ready.

"We had some problems in the first half, then we calmed down and we went out into the distance."

European champions Liverpool face Mexican side Monterrey in their semi-final on Wednesday for the right to face Flamengo in Saturday's final.

Should Jurgen Klopp's side make it, Jesus believes Liverpool will face a much tougher game than Tottenham gave them in the Champions League trophy match back in June.

He added: "Whoever it has to be, when you get to a Club World Cup, the teams are all strong.

"We have never focused on tactical analysis about Liverpool, it was always about Al Hilal. We are not ahead in choosing because football gives us a lot of surprises.

"Liverpool is a favourite, I have no doubt, but they have to win first. If it is Liverpool, Klopp have already been to the Champions League final, but the Club World Cup will be more important and more difficult."

Jesus claimed the final would be the biggest game of his managerial career, and that Flamengo's attacking players are the best he has ever coached.

"This will be the most important final of my career," added the 65-year-old, who has primarily managed clubs in his native Portugal.

"This is the best team I have ever coached at the offensive level. I had the opportunity to work with great players in Portugal, especially in my first year at Benfica the team was very strong.

"At this moment, what makes the difference is the way Flamengo players welcomed me, shared me and accepted my ideas. So, this is the strongest group I've had."

Al Sadd boss Xavi was left feeling angry with his players after they suffered a heavy 6-2 defeat to ES Tunis at the Club World Cup on Tuesday.

The Qatar champions were dismantled by a hat-trick from forward Hamdou Elhouni, producing what their head coach described as a "very disappointing" performance at Doha's Khalifa International Stadium in the fifth-place play-off.

Al Sadd did play the majority of the contest with 10 men after defender Abdelkarim Hassan was deemed to have blocked a goal-bound shot with his hand, leading to a straight red card.

Yet Xavi did not hold back in his post-match assessment, telling a news conference: "I'm very sad, very disappointed and very angry because we played the first two matches really well.

"This is a premium for us and I can't understand the team today. This is not what we want. 

"We are Al Sadd and we're playing against African champions and our attitude during the first 20 minutes isn't acceptable."

Former Barcelona and Spain international Xavi, who took charge in May after four years as a player with the club, acknowledged an improvement from his players following the dismissal of Hassan.

"After we got the red card we played okay," he added. "We played with good attitude, intensity. 

"I cannot accept the first 30 minutes, it's impossible to accept. I'm very angry, we need to find the solution. It was a really bad result

"We have to come back of course. We're in a bad moment because we couldn't compete well, but our reality is to win the local competitions and start well in the Asian Champions League. 

"This competition was a gift. Now we have to come back."

Page 3 of 5
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.