Suarez and Coutinho are not Liverpool legends, says Jamie Carragher
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher appears to have taken exception to Jurgen Klopp dubbing Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho club legends.
The pair went up against their former side on Wednesday evening as Barcelona hosted Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Speaking after Liverpool’s quarter-final win over Porto, Klopp briefly previewed the impending clash with Barcelona and the special meeting with “legends” Suarez and Coutinho.
But according to Carragher, who spent his entire playing career with Liverpool, Klopp made a rare error in his comments with Coutinho and Suarez not successful enough at the club to be considered legends.
“They will not get an especially hostile reception but Klopp made a rare error when he stated they are two ‘Anfield legends’,” Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column.
“They are not. Liverpool have too many players with titles and European Cup medals in their legends suite to allow entry for those who did not replicate those achievements.
“That equally applies to the current side, players needing a big prize to cement their legendary status.
“The value of the contribution of Suarez and Coutinho while on Merseyside is not in doubt. Where they stand in Liverpool history is because they left without dedicating their peak years to the trophy pursuit.
“They came close, of course. Had Suarez inspired the club to the title in 2014 he could have been alongside Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard as the greatest of all Liverpool players.”
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Carragher then went on to talk about the reasons behind Suarez and Coutinho leaving Liverpool in 2014 and 2018 respectively, with the former going on to win numerous trophies with Barcelona including a Champions League in his first season.
He added: “[Suarez] did not think Liverpool would ever get back to Barcelona’s level, which was fair enough at the time.
“His medal haul in Spain, including the Champions League in his first season, means he has nothing to regret, even if he sees a different club to one he left behind.
“Coutinho could see how the team was evolving and still decided to go. It worked to Liverpool’s advantage given how smartly they reinvested money on Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.
“Suarez and Coutinho left because they were certain they were joining a bigger and better club more likely to win the Champions League.
“There can be no greater motivation, and no better time, for Liverpool to prove that is no longer the case.”
Both players started against Liverpool on Wednesday night with Suarez opening the scoring, latching onto a wonderful pass from Jordi Alba, for his first Champions League goal of the season.
But Coutinho had another night to forget in a Barcelona shirt, not really hassling the Liverpool defence before being taken off for Nelson Semedo after an hour.