At 23, Trent Alexander-Arnold is already experiencing supreme success.
The Liverpool and England defender has become one of Europe’s elite right-backs, displaying athletic and playing abilities that are rare to find in his position.
However, away from the pitch, Alexander-Arnold’s grounding proved essential for him to keep a cool head, despite being a vital cog in one of the best football teams in the world.
While many in his position might be spending their newfound wealth on cars, homes or entertainment, Alexander-Arnold’s goal is much closer to home.
He may be a local icon for Liverpool’s biggest team, but he still lives with his parents, washing dishes and learning habits that help keep his life “clean and healthy”.
Staying in a place where everything is stable has helped him reach the heights he has, says Alexander-Arnold.
“I always think young players rush things,” he told CNN senior sports analyst Darren Lewis. “You start getting paid some money and young players always think the first thing to do is move house, get a new car, stuff like that.
“And then the environment just isn’t the same. You live at home. You have your parents to keep you up to date and make sure everything is clean and tidy, the dishes don’t pile up and that you go home to a nice, clean environment and things like that.
“As you live at home (all alone), breakfast and dinner, you just think, ‘I’ll do that later.’ And then you come back from training and you’re just not in a clean, nice environment, so I never felt rushed to leave the house, I always got the right messages.
“I’ve always loved having family around me. And they’ve kept me grounded and pushed me to the level that I’ve reached so far. So I don’t think it’s urgent for me to make a decision.”
Ever since he can remember, Alexander-Arnold has been a Liverpool fan.
To live just five minutes from the team’s training ground – he remembers asking his mum to take him and his siblings to catch a glimpse of their ‘idols’ through the cracks in the walls on their days off school – watching them at the weekend, he was in love with the club from an early age.
To celebrate Liverpool’s spectacular Champions League victory in 2005, Alexander-Arnold was one of thousands who took to the streets of the city to welcome their heroes in the open-top bus parade.
Although he is a huge fan, his own introduction to the club was pure luck. “It was like midterm camp and the invite went out to my school and it was like, ‘So who wants to go? “”, Did he declare.
“And as you can imagine, everyone in the class raised their hands. We have to choose names from a hat, and luckily my name was chosen. I went there with a few classmates and after – I don’t know how long it was – I think maybe 10, 15 minutes, a scout came up to my mom and said, ‘We want you to start bringing her here if you can ?'”
And as he explains, “The rest is history.”
Since making his first-team debut in 2016, Alexander-Arnold has developed into one of the most dynamic full-backs in the world, terrorizing defenses from deep position with his precise crosses and accurate balls.
In his 161 Premier League appearances, he has scored 10 goals, provided 45 assists and has a remarkable record of winning 114 games and losing just 19 times.
But despite that record, such was Manchester City’s brilliance under Pep Guardiola, Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool’s trophy victory was stymied.
Yes, they have won a lot during his time in the first team, but the Reds have narrowly rocketed to the Premier League title four times in the last five years – twice by a single point.
The close battle between the two English behemoths has become a fixture on TV over the course of a season, with Alexander-Arnold admitting playing Man City is Liverpool’s ‘biggest game of the season’, despite traditionally more intense rivalries with Everton and Manchester United.
“I think historically there will always be this tension and the rivalries with Everton and with United. But I think right now it’s for different reasons. I think there will always be a dislike for Liverpool and Everton and Man United,” he said.
“It will always be that no matter where either team finishes in the league, whenever it happens there is always a very heated game and both fans really want to win it the most. But I think that for different reasons, now Man City is the biggest game of the season, the best team in England, one of, if not thebest team in the world too.
“And, of course, it was the team that set the tone, set the benchmark for the rest of the league. Four leagues in five years, that’s something few teams can say we’ve done. So it’s hard for us to look beyond them and look anywhere else for motivation Our motivation is that if we stay in and around City then over the last four or five years you’re at a good place.
Although last year was another successful season for Liverpool and Alexander-Arnold personally – with FA Cup and League Cup winners’ medals added to the trophy cabinet – it turned out. ended on a sour note.
The match was delayed for 35 minutes as Liverpool fans struggled to enter the Stade de France, with French police using tear gas on supporters held in tight areas.
After the game, despite the club’s account of the events and details from supporters, Reds fans were partly responsible for the disruption, with French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin stating “that the disruption caused was linked to a massive influx of spectators and a significant number of spectators”. counterfeit bills.”
Senator Laurent Lafon, chairman of the culture, education and communication commission, co-author of the report, attributed the violent scenes of the final to “a series of malfunctions that occurred in a rather vague administrative and decision-making framework”.
And for Alexander-Arnold and the rest of his teammates, he admits the whole situation was “strange”.
“The messages that were played in the stadium were late fan arrivals and stuff like that…and you believe what you hear and see in those situations,” he said.
“Then it wasn’t until after the game, obviously, that we found out the truth and what happened, what happened. But I think the way the fans handled it – when it happened, during the game and after the game and the months that followed — was outstanding.
“It’s something that we as players and as a club are really proud of, the way they made sure the truth came out. They made sure the fans weren’t just blamed for things. things they have finished.”