Trent Alexander-Arnold became a Champions League winner at the ripe old age of 20. That’s not a bad start to a career for a local lad who grew up in the shadows of Melwood. Trent took time recently to describe his journey, from watching the 2005 Champions League parade to sitting on top of the bus in 2019 with a winner’s medal.
“The word surreal probably doesn’t do it justice. Neither does the word magical”, said the Liverpool right back. “I love reading, but I’m not sure I’ve ever come across words that come close to describing how I felt on the top of that bus.”
Having such a high level of success at such an early age can be heady, but Trent, who still lives at home with his parents, recognized the importance his family had in his growth.
“As I got a bit older, and I moved up through the Liverpool academy, Tyler and Marcel willingly sacrificed their own dreams for mine”, Trent said of his brothers. “There were weekends when Mum couldn’t take my brothers to their matches because I had to be at the academy at a certain time — and it was always them who made the sacrifice. To this day I’m so incredibly grateful to both of them.”
The importance of family was driven home for Alexander-Arnold when Steven Gerrard, a local legend himself, came down to coach a session for the Academy team.
“You could hear it whenever Stevie spoke about the supporters, or about Anfield, or about the club in general — you could just tell he cared in a different way. It was about family. It was about being together. That stuck with me.”
That feeling of being a local lad, and knowing what the team means to the community.
“[W]hen I see a young lad wearing 66, it still means everything to me. Everybody that owns my kit, everybody that owns any Liverpool kit — I owe them something. I owe them my best. Because I’m one of them. We’re family.”
The dynamic right back and his pinpoint crosses have certainly delivered, providing a record-breaking 12 assists in the league last season, as well as delivering THAT quickly taken corner in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
Fourteen years after watching the Miracle of Istanbul, Trent Alexander-Arnold was on the field as a starter in the Champions League final. After the final whistle, the lad from Melwood celebrated with his team, the fans, and most importantly, his family.
“When my family got on the pitch to celebrate … that was what it’s all about, for me.”
Here’s hoping for many more family celebrations, Trent. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy all the magnificent crosses you want to deliver!