Luis Garcia confident Liverpool will re-join Europe's elite next season

Liverpool Champions League-winner Luis Garcia has backed his former club to get back into Europe’s elite next season and won’t rule out a Reds run at this year’s Premier League title...

Garcia is in Singapore this week as part of LFC World presented by Standard Chartered, an interactive fan experience that is making its debut in this country.

I think the target is very clear, which is to be in the top four. That would mean so much to the city

The Spaniard is perhaps best known for his so-called “ghost goal” in a Champions League semi-final against Chelsea in 2005 that proved critical in the Reds’ unlikely triumph in that year’s competition.

And he believes current manager Jurgen Klopp can steer Liverpool to a top-four finish in 2016-17 – at the very least.

“I think the target is very clear, which is to be in the top four,” Garcia told FourFourTwo.

“That would mean so much for the club to bring back Champions League football to the city, to Anfield.

“It would also help next year to bring in some big players because as you know the big players always want to play in the Champions League.

“I think it’s very important for the club.

Garcia and McAllister check out LFC World

“Then if you are close to the title, then why not?

“There have been four different teams winning the title over the last four years, so why not Liverpool?”

Garcia knows his recent EPL history, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and of course Leicester City last season claiming the title over the past four campaigns.

Liverpool have made an excellent start to 2016-17, picking up seven wins and two draws from their first 10 games, a record shared by Manchester City and Arsenal.

The Reds only trail that duo on goal difference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Watford at Anfield and Garcia for one says he isn’t surprised by the team’s fast start.

“Not at all. I think Liverpool did a great job at the end of last season and the signings have been very good,” he said.

“The manager has had time to work with the team, they know what Jurgen wants from them and the squad is very deep.

“All the players have to give 100 per cent and if they’re not, the coach has shown you’re going to the bench and someone else will come in.

The three former Reds outside the entrance to LFC World

“There’s a lot of competitiveness between the players, which is very important to make the team strong.”

Liverpool fans turned out in force in Singapore on Thursday to see Garcia, who appeared along with the club’s all-time leading goalscorer Ian Rush and treble-winning midfielder Gary McAllister.

What has surprised me more, it’s been almost 10 years, (but) the supporters are still singing my song

Fans could take Standard Chartered's virtual reality tour of Anfield, pose with a replica of the Champions League trophy and attempt to beat ‘Robokeeper’, the world’s fastest electronic keeper.

Garcia feels blessed to be part of what he called the ‘Liverpool family’.

“I’m always amazed. Everywhere we go there is always the same support, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

“It’s like the Liverpool family is growing bigger and bigger every year.

“I’ve been very lucky to travel as an ambassador to many places, many different cities, and the support is always the same.

“It’s really amazing.”

 

Happy Halloween!! Some will find it funny...others Scary! #Halloween #Ghost

A photo posted by Luis Garcia (@luchogarcia14) on

And he has nothing but fond memories of his three seasons at Anfield.

“When I arrived at Liverpool, I couldn’t have expected all that would happen,” he said.

“I arrived to one of the best teams in the world in terms of its history, so when I got there I just wanted to repay the confidence they had in me.

“I could never have imagined what would happen after that.

“We won the Champions League, we won a few more trophies, but what has surprised me more was after I left, it’s been almost 10 years, the supporters are still singing my song.

“I receive so much support from everywhere. It’s so special.”

Yes, it’s one question everywhere I go, people ask me if the ball crossed the line

Throughout his travels though there is still one moment he gets asked about more than any other – that “ghost goal”, a term coined by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Garcia had a little fun over the incident for Halloween, taking to Instagram to recreate a slightly different version of that famous moment.

“Yes, it’s one question everywhere I go, people ask me if the ball crossed the line,” he revealed.

“I was with some of my friends and we saw a picture from a long time ago about that, so we decided to have a bit of fun.

“I think people liked it.”

The Liverpool legends will be appearing at LFC World at Suntec Mall in Singapore until Sunday, November 6 and then later that evening at an ticket-only match screening hosted by FourFourTwo HQ at McGettigan's in Clarke Quay for Liverpool's home game against Watford.