TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD has built his perfect footballer… without Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Liverpool star was asked to pick a footballer for eight different traits.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has built his perfect footballerCredit: AFP or licensors
Cristiano Ronaldo’s attributes were not requiredCredit: AFP OR LICENSORS
And while Lionel Messi twice made the cut, there was no place for his old foe Ronaldo.
The star full-back, 22, gave his answers to Goal, and they were understandably Reds heavy.
Let’s take a look at who did make the cut.
RIGHT FOOT – KEVIN DE BRUYNE
Liverpool have often witnessed De Bruyne’s talents close up, despite his recent missed penaltyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
De Bruyne notched 20 PL assists last seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
A direct rival of Liverpool’s for the best part of three years now, the Belgian has often been a thorn in the Reds’ side.
Kevin De Bruyne has now won two Premier League titles, a Champions League and four League Cups in England.
And last season, despite Liverpool’s excellence, the 29-year-old was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year by his peers.
On the incredible playmaker, who notched 20 PL assists last season, Alexander-Arnold said: “He’s the best passer I’ve ever played against, he’s the person that still gives me that wow factor.”
LEFT FOOT – LIONEL MESSI
Messi’s left foot is the world’s bestCredit: AFP or licensors
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner scored a dazzling free-kick against the Reds in 2019Credit: Getty – Contributor
Alexander-Arnold’s crowning moment, until last season at least, was lifting the Uefa Champions League in 2019.
But it could have been so different, had Lionel Messi’s team-mates been anywhere close to the Argentine’s level in the semi-finals.
Liverpool’s No66 watched on from the bench as Messi scored twice in the first-leg at Camp Nou, including an extraordinary free-kick.
On the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Alexander-Arnold purred: “There’s not a player in the world or there won’t be a player that’s ever been, that can stop him on his day.
“He is, for me, the best player ever.”
SPEED – ADAMA TRAORE
Adama Traore tore Liverpool apart back in JanuaryCredit: Reuters
The explosive winger is now a full Spanish internationalCredit: AFP or licensors
Wolves pushed Liverpool hard in January last season, with Adama Traore giving the Reds’ defence a torrid evening at Molineux.
The winger teed up Raul Jimenez’s equaliser, and created numerous other chances for the Mexican.
Roberto Firmino sneaked a late winner for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
But Traore, since capped by Spain, left an impression on Alexander-Arnold.
He said: “It’s almost not human, the way he can change direction and go.
“I’ve never felt so powerless against someone.”
STAMINA – JAMES MILNER
The experienced star remains an important member of Liverpool’s squadCredit: AP:Associated Press
Milner won his third Premier League title alongside Alexander-Arnold and CoCredit: AP:Associated Press
While Mo Salah and Sadio Mane grab the headlines as the incredible goalscorers behind Liverpool’s success, every top side has their less glamorous, but still hugely important, cogs.
Part of the furniture now at Anfield, James Milner appears to be just that for Liverpool.
Still going strong at 34, the former Manchester City star provides versatility and experience in abundance.
And if Trent’s word is anything to go by, Milner definitely still has gas left in the tank.
He said: “I don’t think I’ll ever see someone as fit as him!
“To be the fittest player [at Liverpool] by some margin… it takes some doing.”
STRENGTH – MO SALAH
Salah has scored 104 goals for LiverpoolCredit: AP:Associated Press
Alexander-Arnold has hailed the Egyptian King’s strengthCredit: MATTHEW CHILDS
The aforementioned Salah has had a typically prolific start to the season, netting eight in eight so far this term in the Premier League for the Reds.
All in all, the ‘Egyptian King’ has 104 goals in 165 outings for Liverpool, playing a huge part in their elevation under Jurgen Klopp.
But while his magic left foot may get most of the acclaim, Alexander-Arnold has pointed to another skill of his that sets him apart.
He pointed out: “The way that he can shield the ball and bully defenders with his body.
“Not only is he strong, but he’s lightning-fast as well.”
HEADING – VIRGIL VAN DIJK
Virgil van Dijk has starred for Liverpool since January 2018Credit: Getty Images – Getty
The Dutchman towers over opposition players Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
The £75million signing of Virgil van Dijk in January 2018 was one of the last pieces in the puzzle when it came to Liverpool returning to dominance at home and abroad.
The defender, currently out injured after a poor Jordan Pickford challenge in the Merseyside Derby, has been an Anfield colossus.
And while Ronaldo may be able to jump 8ft 5in like a ‘prime Michael Jordan’, Alexander-Arnold is quite happy to back his team-mate in the air.
He explained: “His dominance in the air is unbelievable in both boxes, to be able to go up and score as well.”
SKILL – NEYMAR
Neymar dazzles French defences week-in, week-outCredit: EPA
The Brazilian is the latest in the long line of amazing No10s from his countryCredit: AFP or licensors
When it comes to flair players, no nation has produced more mesmerising tricksters than Brazil.
And like Pele, Zico, Romario and Ronaldinho before him, Neymar continues to dazzle crowds with his impudent array of skills.
Now 28, the Paris Saint-Germain star has suffered his fair share of injury troubles.
But Alexander-Arnold still watches on in awe when the £200m man takes to a field.
He said: “He’s quite smart in terms of the way he shifts your body, shifts your hips, and when you think the ball is there to be won, he’ll just nip it away from you.”
BRAIN – LIONEL MESSI
Messi has scored 711 goals in his careerCredit: AP:Associated Press
The Argentine also has 329 assists for club and countryCredit: AFP or licensors
So in addition to his left foot, Alexander-Arnold is also having Messi’s brain.
The 33-year-old has scored an astonishing 711 career goals for club and country.
But he also has 329 assists.
These days Messi is largely allowed to float around the field, picking and choosing his moments to pounce on an opposition.
But at this, there is no one better.
Trent gushed: “Sometimes I don’t think his body knows what he’s going to do.
“It’s just all his brain working so fast, quicker than anyone else.”
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