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Ryan Babel puts Euro hopes to one side

Ryan Babel puts Euro hopes to one side

Jul 23 2007

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post

Ryan Babel in action against Werder Bremen in Switzerland - Picture: MARTIN BIRCHALL

RYAN BABEL has revealed how he put his Euro 2008 hopes at risk by signing for Liverpool.

The winger, one of the stars of Holland’s success in the Euro Under-21 tournament, said that Holland manager Marco van Basten had tried to persuade him to stay in his home country.

Van Basten told members of the Dutch U21 squad that in order to bolster their chances of making his Euro 2008 squad, then they should stay at home. But Babel decided his £11.5million switch to Anfield was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“Van Basten spoke to the squad before the Under-21 Championships and said it would be best for players to stay in Holland if they wanted to go to Euro 2008,” said the 20-year-old.

“But, if I’m honest, his words did not even enter my mind when Liverpool said they wanted to sign me.

“I spoke to Rafa Benitez and I have enough confidence in my own ability to believe I will play enough games for Liverpool to convince van Basten and go to the finals.”

Babel is part of the Liverpool party that flew into Hong Kong yesterday for the FA Premier League Asia Trophy, which also involves Portsmouth, Fulham and South China.

Liverpool open against South China tomorrow.

Liverpool were greeted by hundreds of their Far East supporters.

Banners in honour of Momo Sissoko and Fernando Torres were prominent while the highest-pitched screams were reserved for Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Benitez. Liverpool were training yesterday before attending a Barclays Reception.


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