Liverpool defender Joel Matip claims he has ‘never heard’ of Anfield legend Alan Hansen, but has settled well into life on Merseyside.
Since joining on a free transfer in the summer from Schalke, Matip has impressed under Jurgen Klopp as the Redmen have found themselves one point off the summit of the Premier League table.
“I am a calm person. I am not someone who is always shouting on the field. I try to keep my composure.” Matip said.
“I can’t do it always. Sometimes I can get a bit angry, especially if a decision I want doesn’t go my way! But I do try to stay calm on the field. It helps you to make the right decisions.”
The 25-year-old had spent 16 years at boyhood club Schalke, but chose to make the move to England to continue his development under Klopp.
He admitted it was tough to settle due to injury, but once he found his feet it became easy to become accustomed to the change in scenery,
“The beginning for me wasn’t the best,” he said.
“I had the problem with my foot in pre-season but since then it’s gone well. I have played a lot of games and I hope it will continue like this.
“It’s an honour and a joy to play for Liverpool. It’s a great club. I’ve been able to help the team get some good results and I am really happy to be here.
“The biggest difference compared to the Bundesliga is that there are so many teams playing for the title. There is so much quality.
“Why did I settle so quickly? My team-mates helped me from the first day I was here. That support meant I could play my game. There are a lot of nice guys in the squad. We laugh a lot and hopefully we will achieve a lot.
“I’m also playing for a great coach who improves every player he works with. I still think I can improve and I know I will get better.”
Matip has drawn comparisons with Liverpool icon Alan Hansen due to his composure on the ball, but the Cameroon international was not even born when Hansen captained the side to their last title in 1989/90.
However, Matip admitted he does not know who Hansen is.
“I’m sorry, I have to say I haven’t heard of him,” Matip said.
“But I know this club has won many trophies in the past and has had many great defenders. It’s an honour the fans have welcomed me so much and that they appreciate my game play.
“Knowing I have the supporters behind me is a pleasure. But I still have to improve. I hope I can continue to make the supporters proud.
“We are trying to make some history but we have to work really hard for this. It’s a long season, we will give our best and then we will see what we can achieve.”