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Babel knows he must fulfil Liverpool potential

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel accepts he can no longer hide behind his youth and he is determined to establish himself as a key player with the Reds. The 22-year-old told the Dutch Football Association's official website.

"At that moment you can't say 'Sorry I am just a young player'. At that moment you have gained enough experience to play a major role.

"Coaches say 'You are still young, you have time'. But they won't say that about Lionel Messi. He is young and he is good, so he will play."

Babel's future has been the subject of speculation but he maintains that he is happy at the club.

"I am very proud to be a part of this team," he explained.

"Before I made the transfer to Liverpool, of course I knew the club and the Beatles but apart from that not a lot about the city.

"It has completely changed. If you are there, you appreciate Liverpool. Then you can see how big this club is."

He said: "At Ajax there was time to do some individual exercises at the end of the training. I really enjoyed that.

"Nowadays it isn't possible, unfortunately. At Liverpool we had to leave the pitch to move on inside.

"The next game could not be far away. They won't take any risks that you will get injured.

"In the first season I had problems with that as I didn't play a lot. I am now used to it. To take some moments of rest are important."

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