Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold unfazed by Cafu's Ballon d'Or tip

David Lynch
Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Trent Alexander-Arnold has insisted he is not motivated by individual prizes after being tipped to claim the Ballon d’Or by the legendary Cafu.

Since breaking into the Liverpool first team in 2016, the 21-year-old has put his own spin on the unglamorous position of right-back.

A constant creative threat in that role, Alexander-Arnold’s exploits have helped his team to Champions League glory, with a Premier League title expected to follow this season.

They also served to catch the eye of former Brazil and AC Milan full-back Cafu, who backed his fellow defender to break the attacking monopoly on the Ballon d’Or in the coming seasons.

However, when asked about that praise, Alexander-Arnold underlined that trophies mean much more to him than any recognition on an individual level.

He said: “Obviously massive praise from a legend of the game, which is something that I’m really thankful for and I have to give thanks to him for those words.

“I try and be the best player I can be. It’s a team game so it’s about the players I have around me in training, the manager, the support I have around me that enables me to be as good as I can be.

“That’s the focus for me, taking it a game at a time, accolades may or may not come in the future.

“It doesn’t really faze me as much as maybe it does other players, for me it’s about winning the team trophies.”

The next step in Liverpool’s defence of their Champions League crown sees them face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano, the stadium where they lifted the prize last June.

Alexander-Arnold believes the hunger that led to that success is still present among his teammates, while confidence in the camp is as high as ever.

He added: “We obviously want to achieve as much as possible and those feelings are hard to come by so we want to make the most of it while we can.

“For us, it’s obviously about trying to do the things we did last June. In terms of changing the focus, nothing’s really changed for us because we go into every game with the same mentality.

“We respect the opponent as much as we can, we understand that we’re a really good side and if our mentality is right, our commitment is right in the game, then we have a chance.

“In any competition we take part in, we’re confident going into the game.

“I wouldn’t say we have a psychological edge, I’d say we’re confident and believe in our own ability.

“We believe in ourselves as individuals and as a team so we go into it confident, whether that’s an edge or not, that’s our mentality.

“It won’t change for any team we come up against because that’s the message the manager has instilled in us over the course of his time here and we’ve bought into that.

“For us, it’s about doing the things that we know and we’re good at.”

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