The 30-year-old has been recognised for his stellar form at the heart of the Reds defence in recent weeks

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Joel Matip after the Liverpool defender was named Premier League player of the month for February.

And the Reds boss joked that the celebrations among his squad were comparable to those which followed the club’s Carabao Cup win last month.

Matip has been recognised for his stellar form at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, following in the footsteps of team-mates Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold in picking up the award this season.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of his side’s weekend trip to Brighton, Klopp paid tribute to the 30-year-old, and revealed just how delighted Matip’s team-mates had been to hear of the news.

He told reporters: “That was great. Before training, we had a meeting, and Thiago Alcantara had put a picture in the players’ [WhatsApp] group, where he had the trophy in his hand, so I asked ‘is it true that Joel won?’

“It was similar to the celebrations after the Carabao Cup, to be honest! It was really cool.”

Joel Matip ❤The @PremierLeague Player of the Month for February ????

Matip has been a key figure for Klopp this season, making 31 appearances in all competitions and scoring his first goal of the campaign in the recent win over Leeds.

The former Schalke man is not someone who would usually command attention, but he is certainly respected by his manager, and among his Anfield colleagues.

Klopp said: “Joel is a very famous figure in the group, in the team, and he obviously doesn’t get a lot of headlines. I don’t like individual prizes for players too much, but if there was one who should have won it, it makes sense that it was Joel.

“Who votes for it? Was it his mum? The Premier League? A panel? I think I criticised the Premier League quite frequently, but I have to say now; you have made worse decisions!”

He added: “Believe me, if there is one person on this planet who couldnt care less if we all underrate him, it’s Joel Matip! Honestly. He doesn’t even realise, probably.

“He’s just happy to be here with these boys. He’s a really smart person, but not in these kind of things. He never thinks ‘my God, I should have another status’ or whatever. Not at all.

“That’s why everyone was so happy that he got it.”

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