James Milner: Liverpool Can't Be Called the 'Best' Until They Win a Trophy

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2019

Liverpool's English midfielder James Milner leaves after a press conference at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on April 16, 2019 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Porto and Liverpool. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL RIOPA/Getty Images

Liverpool midfielder James Milner thinks the Reds need to win something if they are to be considered one of the best teams in the world. 

The Reds are in a strong position to clinch two major honours at the end of the campaign, as they sit top of the Premier League and on the brink of a UEFA Champions League semi-final; on Wednesday they play the second leg of their quarter-final with Porto, having won the first clash 2-0 at Anfield.

Prior to the showdown in Portugal, Porto boss Sergio Conceicao said the Reds are "the best team in the world" at times. Milner said they can't be considered in that bracket quite yet, per Nick Miller of ESPN FC.

"That's a nice compliment, and we get those compliments by playing good football over a sustained period of time," said the veteran. "But to be that you have to win trophies, and that's something we haven't done yet and what we're trying to do this season."

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was asked about the praise from Conceicao. "Sometimes we are really good, that's true," said the German. "Hopefully, we can show it again. That's a compliment, but we know we have a really big job to do tomorrow."

Liverpool were handed the most favourable draw in the last eight of the Champions League when they were pitted against Porto, and they did a professional job in winning the first leg (U.S. only):

The club's Twitter account posted the following footage of the team on their way to Porto for the contest:

Although in recent years Porto would be given a slim chance of progressing, given the manner in which Liverpool have improved under Klopp this term, it's difficult to envisage a scenario where the Reds don't advance.

In the previous round, they proved they can shine away from home in the Champions League, despite some disappointing results on the road in the group stages. Liverpool were too good for Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, winning 3-1 after a stalemate in the first leg.

While a lot of focus has been on Liverpool's pursuit of the Premier League title this term, the hopes of a memorable double are increasing. 

They will still need to be a little wary of Porto. Joel Rabinowitz noted they did create some chances at Anfield:

However, their inability to score an away goal on Merseyside puts Liverpool in control of the contest. With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in form, you'd back Liverpool to score, and if they do, the tie is effectively over.

That's set to pave the way for a thrilling end to the 2018-19 season for the Reds, and if they were to end the season with the two major prizes, you'd struggle to make a case against them being the best side around.

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