Football

Liverpool captain demands Champions League return

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Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool must regain their place in Europe's elite competition. 

The Reds last featured in the Champions League in the 2009/10 season and Gerrard has warned the Anfield outfit that they must make a swift return to the competition or face difficulty in attracting top-quality players. 

As well as struggling to compete for the best players, Brendan Rodgers' side are struggling to keep hold of their prize asset - Luis Suarez wants a move away from Anfield, as he goes in search of Champions League football. 

However, the club-captain still hopes that the Uruguayan will remain at Anfield and Gerrard will continue to persuade him to stay put at the Merseyside club. 

"I think the only person who knows what's happening is Luis himself," said the England captain. 

"He has a huge decision to make and, as his team-mate, I have to show him respect and give him space to make whatever decision he wants to make.

"But I think everyone knows how highly I rate him and how much I want him to stay, and what we can achieve this season basically depends on whether he stays or goes, I believe.

"While I've still got a couple of years left - and maybe a few more who knows - I have to make the most of it. And that is about adding more medals to what I already have and to leave this club in the Champions League. That is the challenge for me personally.

"It is not the same club I joined because we are not in the Champions League, so it becomes an awful lot more difficult to attract the top players.

"But I think the club's history and size - we've just been on a tour which has seen us play in front of nearly a quarter of a million people in 10 days - means the pull is still here.

"We need to break back into the top four to get back the pull we had four or five years ago when we were comfortably in the Champions League year in, year out and challenging to win it.

"Players who come and get the club back into the Champions League will experience some of the biggest nights of their career, because playing European football in front of this crowd is different to any other."

Liverpool's quest for Champions League football begins against Stoke City, at Anfield, on August 17 and Gerrard will be hoping his Uruguayan teammate will be present in the chase for Europe's top competition. 

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Topics:
Premier League
Liverpool
Football
Steven Gerrard

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