A Manchester United legend has played down the significance of the Reds’ success on a global stage, having won the competition during his playing days
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has poured cold water over Liverpool’s Club World Cup success, insisting the tournament “wasn’t that serious” when he was at Old Trafford.
Liverpool lifted the trophy for the first time in their history on December 18, beating Flamengo 1-0 after extra-time in the final thanks to a Roberto Firmino strike.
The Reds celebrated winning their third trophy of 2019 in some style, and even posed for catalogue pictures with the trophy to mark the occasion.
Scholes added a Club World Cup winners’ medal to his trophy cabinet back in 2008 while part of an all-star United squad at the peak of its powers under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The ex-England international recalled the experience during an interview with BBC Radio Five Live, and couldn’t resist taking a subtle swipe at Liverpool for their extravagant celebrations after picking up an elusive piece of silverware in Qatar.
“Well you want to win it once you’re there but I don’t think it was ever something that we were desperate to win,” Scholes said.
“Even now if someone said to you ‘What trophies did you win over the years?’ I don’t think we’d mention the World Club Championship.
“I really don’t. I’m not joking, I’m serious!
“But you know what, it’s like anything else, it might take more importance over the years.
“It looks like Liverpool have enjoyed it, they’ve celebrated it and probably will mention it and why not – but just when we were playing it wasn’t that serious I don’t think.
“But now you look back I suppose you’re quite happy but it’s not something you set out to do as a player I don’t think.”
Scholes was then asked which meant more to him – Club World Cup glory or winning a trophy at his local badminton club – to which he responded: “My badminton trophy!”
Liverpool returned to England at the start of the week to begin preparations for a huge showdown against Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
Jurgen Klopp’s men showed no sign of fatigue after their exploits in the middle east as they thrashed the Foxes 4-0, opening up a 13 point lead over their rivals at Premier League summit in the process.
United, meanwhile, managed to pick up a confidence-boosting 4-1 win at home to Newcastle on Thursday, bouncing back strongly after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Watford.