Liverpool ballboy hailed as a hero after 'pre-assist' for Divock Origi's decisive fourth against Barcelona

Daniel Zeqiri
One Liverpool ballboy was praised for his quick thinking on Liverpool's fourth goal against Barcelona - BT Sport

Much mockery greeted Liverpool's decision to hire a throw-in coach at the start of the season, and it seems similar attention to detail is on offer for the club's ballboys to perfect their deliveries. 

Oakley Cannonier, 14, is being hailed as a hero on the red half of Merseyside after his fast arm and quick wit transferred the ball to corner-taker Trent Alexander-Arnold to set up the winning goal while the Barcelona defence were unawares. 

Alexander-Arnold pretended to walk away from the dead ball before crossing for Divock Origi to score in a brilliant piece of improvisation

Cannonier, identified by The Independent,  and the rest of the Anfield ballboys been told to release the ball as quickly as possible back to Liverpool players to maintain the tempo. 

According to reports, Liverpool had noticed Barcelona's bad habit of complaining to the officials every time a marginal call went against them and spotted an opportunity. 

Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness called for Cannonier and his family to be given tickets to the Champions League final and said on Irish television: "Watch this, we will circle him (the ball boy).

"It goes out for a corner. They are following the ball... watch the ballboy here. He is already on the spot.

"He puts it down now. He goes to walk away and he realises there is a few dopes gone to sleep.

"They have all turned their back on it. That is criminal, criminal for a professional footballer."

In a delightful piece of symmetry, pictures surfaces of academy graduate Alexander-Arnold as a ballboy at Anfield in 2014. 

The 20-year-old right-back is due to play in his second Champions League final in as many seasons, and produced possibly his finest performance in a Liverpool shirt in their remarkable comeback. 

Cannonier is also a promising Liverpool academy player, sometimes playing two years above his age. 

The multi-ball system is used in the Champions League and international tournaments, but not in the Premier League where only one match ball is in play during the match unless the referee calls for another.