KOCHI: Luis Garcia's legacy at Liverpool Football Club is something that will stand the test of time. After all, he was part of the team that won the 2005 Champions League title by beating AC Milan in what is now described as the 'Miracle of Istanbul'.
He even won a few other titles during his time at Anfield alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard. However, the Spaniard is among the many generations of footballers who could never get their hands on the coveted league title.
When Liverpool finally ended the thirty-year drought this season in an emphatic fashion, Garcia is among those who feel that the club is back where they belong.
"We've been all waiting for for so long. During my time there, we tried but there was no chance. We couldn't get close to the top position. It would be second or third and it was very difficult. The likes of Arsenal and Chelsea were so strong with big squads," said Garcia, who is now a La Liga ambassador.
According to the 42-year-old, the man behind the transformation of Liverpool into a formidable outfit is German coach Jurgen Klopp who arrived at the club in 2015.
"The moment Jurgen arrived at the club, it has been a massive change. He has given to the club a personality, a philosophy of playing football. He brought that amazing way of playing attacking football we all enjoyed when he was back in Dortmund," said Garcia. Klopp didn't start winning titles immediately upon his arrival and Garcia believes that his task involved a lot of rebuilding work.
"When he arrived, he said to everybody, 'don't ask me to give you trophies now because I'm building something and we are in a moment of transition'. We have to give him a lot of credit because he built an amazing squad," said Garcia.
The former Barcelona man, who also played in the Indian Super League, is impressed by how Klopp unearthed the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson 'out of nowhere' while also getting the best out of the likes of Divock Origi and Fabinho.
"All the fans have been waiting and waiting for this team to explode. And finally, they got Champions League last season and the Premier League this year. From here on, they are the team to beat. I don't see Liverpool going down from here. They are hungry and it is a young team that is going to continue growing. There is a bright future for this team and I'm sure they'll challenge for all the trophies next year," he said.
Garcia was speaking during an interaction arranged by La Liga India on Monday. While Liverpool have wrapped up the title, La Liga is set to go down to the wire with Real Madrid and Barcelona slugging it out for the trophy. It has been one of the most closely-fought leagues this season in Europe.
"It is a crazy season. At the moment, it is amazing how competitive La Liga is. Everything is open. Madrid have been waiting for two-three years for the trophy. I'm really excited to see what happens in the final few rounds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed but Madrid looks strong and solid," he said.