Big Match

Reds' golden age beckons

Sports correspondent Sazali Abdul Aziz takes former Liverpool talisman Luis Garcia on a trip down memory lane.
Liverpool ambassador Luis Garcia taking a tour of the club's official merchandise store at Bugis Junction yesterday. The club also have three stores in Thailand, and will open branches in Dubai and Vietnam next week. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Liverpool ambassador Luis Garcia taking a tour of the club's official merchandise store at Bugis Junction yesterday. The club also have three stores in Thailand, and will open branches in Dubai and Vietnam next week.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Garcia believes Klopp's Liverpool have the potential to build legacy of success at Anfield

Move over Arsenal, there will soon be a new team of Invincibles.

Liverpool are unbeaten in 37 Premier League games and their former hero Luis Garcia believes Jurgen Klopp's men can eclipse the record of 49 the Gunners set in 2004.

Garcia, who played 121 games and scored 30 goals for Liverpool from 2004 to 2007, told The Straits Times at the official opening of the club's merchandise store yesterday: "Yeah, definitely. It's because of the way they look on the field.

"They have so much confidence, and even though in some games they don't play at their best and struggle to get the result - they still always get the result.

"And at the moment, they have momentum too."

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal did not lose a league match in the 2003-2004 season and went on to claim the title with 26 wins and 12 draws. They carried their unbeaten run into the next season, only for it to end with a 2-0 loss at Manchester United on Oct 24, 2004.

Garcia, 41, added he has been thrilled with Liverpool's rise since manager Klopp's appointment in October 2015. Over the past year, they have lifted three trophies - a sixth Champions League title, the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.

He believes there has been a shift in the players' mentality since Klopp arrived, and this could see them forge a golden age.

"This can happen because Klopp wants more. And the players want more," he said. "They are not happy (and satisfied) with what they have won, and that is important.

"They want to get better and continue to win trophies, and this (mentality) goes down to the academy and some of the young players.

"There is a bright future for the club but, in the end, results will decide if this Liverpool side can create a legacy over many, many years."

 
 

The Spaniard was at Bugis Junction as a club ambassador for the launch of the Liverpool store, set up in collaboration with local sports retailer Weston Corp.

He is fondly remembered by fans for his key role in the club's Champions League triumph in 2005.

He was their top scorer in the campaign with five goals, including a spectacular winner against Juventus in the quarter-finals and the famous "ghost goal" which eliminated Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in the last four.

Liverpool would go on to beat AC Milan on penalties in the final, dubbed the Miracle of Istanbul, having rallied to 3-3 after trailing 3-0 at half-time.

The Liverpool official store in Singapore opened its doors last month, and is the largest outside Europe. The club has three stores in Thailand, and will open branches in Dubai and Vietnam next week.

Liverpool senior vice-president of merchandise, Mike Cox, said: "I've been able to see first-hand how passionate our fan base here is, and as one of the world's premier shopping destinations, it's an exciting opportunity for the club to connect with supporters in the region."

Rajbir Chopra, sales director of Weston Corp, said: "There are several unique features of the store, like the Shankly Gates and the Champions Wall, with the simple mission of bringing the Anfield experience to Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline 'Reds' golden age beckons '. Print Edition | Subscribe