“It is much better to win trophies,” says Matip in an interview with the Daily Mail‘s Dominic King.
“But for the beginning, it is better to be in the Champions League than nothing. I think we are in a good way. We are focused.”
With Chelsea running away with the title since Christmas, Liverpool are in a five-way fight for the three remaining top four places.
Qualifying for next season’s Champions League would be huge for the club, potentially meaning a higher calibre of players being signed in the summer and a return to Europe’s elite competition for only the second time in the last seven seasons.
Longer term though, Matip admits he wants more than to just being fighting for a top four finish: “Maybe it will need some time but we are on a good way. If we play well, maybe we can go higher and higher.”
The 25-year-old centre-back, signed on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer, was the centre of an club vs. country debate in January when he opted not to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and he says he won’t be turning out for them ever again.
“I only wanted to stay here and play,” he explained. “It was not easy because I didn’t understand what was going on. Now the problem is solved and I can concentrate on Liverpool.
Speaking about the potential to play for Cameroon again, he was unequivocal in his response, saying: “I’ll concentrate on Liverpool. It’s done.”