One of the reasons cited for Liverpool’s disappointing start to the 2014-15 Premier League campaign is their Champions League commitment.
Brendan Rodgers’s side finished second in the league last season and booked their place in the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition for this term.
The Reds made a return to the Champions League after a five-year absence. It is supposed to be a matter of prestige and joy, but many have suggested that European commitment this season could cost them a place in the top four of the Premier League.
Whether that is the case or not is up for debate, but Liverpool striker Fabio Borini is certainly enjoying rubbing shoulders with the big boys of Europe.
The Italy international has also underlined just how important playing in the Champions League is for the players themselves.
Reflecting on Liverpool’s 2-1 home win against Ludogorets Razgrad in Group B earlier this month and looking ahead to Wednesday’s match against FC Basel in Switzerland, Borini told the club’s official website: ‘It's going to be a hard place to play, as Ludogorets was because we won 2-1 in the last minute and it wasn't easy.
‘It was a good experience. I have played in the Champions League before and it was good, so it's nice to see the club back in the Champions League after so many years.
'As players, we needed to have that kind of competition because it's really important to grow as a player by playing those kinds of games. They are not like English games - they are completely different in the tempo and control. Tactically, it is harder than in England’.
For any footballer, playing in the Champions League is a dream and something to aspire to. After all, it is the biggest and most glamorous club competition in the world where the best players feature.
It is true that Liverpool are struggling to cope with Premier League and Champions League football, but there can be no doubt that the players and manager Rodgers would not have it any other way.