Trent Alexander-Arnold has thanked Cafu for his comments tipping the Liverpool defender to win the Ballon d‘Or in the future.
The Brazilian legend singled out the England international for praise but Alexander-Arnold is adamant he is not preoccupied with individual awards, emphasising the “team game” nature of football.
Is Alexander-Arnold the modern-day Cafu? Five things to know…
- During a long and successful career, Cafu was renowned for his bursting runs forward from right-back.
- In the same way, Alexander-Arnold is better known for his attacking attributes than his defensive traits.
- Cafu won two Serie A titles and the Champions League during his time in Italy, while Alexander-Arnold is in the midst of a trophy-laden club career with Liverpool.
- However, the Liverpool youngster has a long way to go if he is to captain his country to World Cup glory, as Cafu did with Brazil in 2002 having already won the competition in 1994.
- That said, Cafu never won the Ballon d‘Or – but he has tipped Alexander-Arnold to do so.
The 21-year-old is currently among the most highly-rated attacking full-backs in the world due to his ability to create chances and provide assists.
His performances have caught the eye of one of the best right-backs to ever play the game, World Cup winner Cafu, who told the Mirror: “I think he has what it takes to become a Ballon d’Or winner.”
Responding to the praise, Alexander-Arnold was delighted the Brazil legend rates him so highly and took the opportunity to praise the support network he has at Liverpool.
“Obviously it’s 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 them words,” Alexander-Arnold told a press conference.
“I try to be the best player I can be. I think it’s obviously a team game so it’s about the players I have around me.
“The players I have in training, the manager, the support I have all around me that enables me to be as good as I can be. Accolades may or may not come in the future, it doesn’t really faze me as much as maybe it does other players.”
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Klopp: I couldn’t love Alexander-Arnold more
Jurgen Klopp also responded to Cafu’s words, joking that the former Roma and AC Milan defender simply wants a right-back to win the Ballon d‘Or.
“Any football experts in? Did Cafu win the Ballon d‘Or? No. So he thinks obviously a right-back should win the Ballon d’Or!” Klopp quipped ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.
“I couldn’t love Trent Alexander-Arnold more. I admire his skills, he’s a wonderful boy, character – all that stuff.
“But it’s a very positive message from Cafu. Yes, he has big potential. If he will win the Ballon d‘Or I have no idea.
“But thank you, Cafu, for being a really nice fella, obviously.”