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Trent Alexander-Arnold sees more silverware in ‘a very special season’

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Winning the Champions League before your 21st birthday makes you a legend. A two-time win at the age of 23 would make Trent Alexander-Arnold a football immortal.

The Iverpool right-back could become the first England player since Viv Anderson to win the European Cup in consecutive years with Nottingham Forest – who has won two medals at such a young age.

Should he reach a third final in five years, Alexander-Arnold could draw comparisons to arguably the greatest of all homeland full-backs, AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini, who played in the third of his eight finals just before turning 24.

With such success since his debut in competition as a teenager, it’s no wonder Alexander-Arnold sounds more like a seasoned veteran than one of the youngest members of Jurgen Klopp’s four-time chasing squad.

“Looking back at the previous two semi-finals [in 2018 against Roma, and 2019 against Barcelona] we made it pretty difficult for ourselves,” said Alexander-Arnold. “In the second leg we had to dig deep into our pockets and see the game through. Hopefully we can make it easier.

“It’s easy to get that complacency when you’re like, ‘We have world-class players, world-class staff, world-class managers, and this is our third semi-final in five years, so we’re probably going to get there again, so it doesn’t matter ‘. That is not the case with us. We’re in a really good position at the moment so we have to make the best of it to reach another final.”

Wherever his career takes him, Alexander-Arnold has already made his name in Champions League semi-final history. Divock Origi’s ‘quick corner’ against Barca in the 2019 Anfield second leg completed the mother of all comebacks.

“When you’re that close [to a final]you get those memories of how it felt — the memories and the special feelings you had — and you share them with your teammates and family,” Alexander-Arnold said.

“It’s an exciting time and I feel like we’re benefiting from it. This is always the best time of the season. Every game is an endgame, pushing on all three fronts.

“You want to play in these games. You want everything on the line and you want every game to feel like you have to win it. There’s a thrill you get when you score a goal and you know it matters. Nabi [Keita’s] Finish on Saturday… there was the feeling: ‘That’s a big goal’. The same goes for hendos [Jordan Henderson’s] Cross shot against Villarreal. These goals give you a different feeling that this is big, this is massive.”

Earlier this season, Alexander-Arnold claimed a trophy is the minimum Liverpool expect from a season. In the current circumstances, he has revised his goals.

“I said at least one trophy a season,” he said. “This is in a season that is not our best. But we’re in good shape and we’ve won in different ways. If you stare down the barrel and look at more trophies – where as we win every game we look at more silverware – that’s what we see. This is a very special season for all of us and hopefully we will get through it and end up back in the history books.”

With Klopp signed until 2026, any future team success is likely to be accompanied by Alexander-Arnold’s personal accolades.

“Hopefully the manager’s extra two years will be as successful as what we’ve had so far,” he said. “The success has increased every season. This one could make it special for us. It gives us this boost that we have four more years of these types of seasons ahead of us.”

Klopp, who rested many of his stars against Newcastle, says his side must be willing to “suffer” to secure their final spot, but he is buoyed by his side’s ability to deal with hostile away territory.

“A good example was Newcastle,” said Klopp. “The audience was very passionate, but we didn’t let it [for them]. We had our moments and could have scored more goals. But how clear was the performance? That was incredible and that’s what we have to be. Yes emotional, yes ready to play the best game ever but knowing that it just won’t happen in all moments. Suffering does not mean suffering long. It means you are suffering [in an instant] and then react.”

Villarreal vs Liverpool
Live, RTÉ2/BT Sport 2, 8.0

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/champions-league/trent-alexander-arnold-eyes-more-silverware-in-a-very-special-season-41608341.html Trent Alexander-Arnold sees more silverware in ‘a very special season’

Fry Electronics Team

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