Steven Gerrard: This is Liverpool’s Champions League ambition

Steven Gerrard insists that Liverpool are not in the Champions League just to make up the numbers.

Liverpool will feature in the Champions League after a five-year absence, and not many neutrals would expect them to go far in the competition.

Indeed, getting out of a group that comprises of Real Madrid, FC Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad could prove to be tricky.

Defending European champions and 10-time winners of the competition, Madrid will be favourites to win Group B and many would expect the Reds to finish as runners-up.

However, Swiss outfit Basel have shown in the past that they can spring a surprise or two, while Bulgarian champions Ludogorets will be looking to make a mark in their debut Champions League campaign.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, though, insists that he and his teammates have what it takes to get out of the group and warns his rivals that they can go all the way.

‘It's a tough group and there are some tough games in there, but it's an exciting group and certainly a group that we can progress from’, the star midfielder told the club’s official website. ‘That's the key. The first challenge is to get out of the group’.

‘For us, it's a chance to go and compete against the best’, added the 34-year-old. ‘We're not in this competition to make the numbers up, we're not celebrating and going out to enjoy this competition - we want to compete and go as far as we can'.

It is a bold statement from Gerrard, but few outside Liverpool would be convinced by it. Although manager Brendan Rodgers has reinforced his squad and added some quality players to compete in Europe, he just does not have the same calibre of stars as some of the biggest teams on the continent do.

Yet, hope springs eternal. Liverpool can get out of their group, and once they reach the last 16, it will come down to which team plays better on the day.

At this moment in time, Liverpool are not anywhere near favourites to win the Champions League, but stranger things have happened in football.

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