At 23, Trent Alexander-Arnold is already extremely successful.
The Liverpool and England defender has emerged as one of Europe’s elite right-backs, displaying an athleticism and playful ability rarely seen at his position.
Off the pitch, however, Alexander-Arnold’s down-to-earth attitude has proven crucial in keeping him level-headed despite being a vital cog in one of the best football teams in the world.
While many in his position may spend their newfound wealth on cars, homes, or entertainment, Alexander-Arnold is much more focused on home.
He may be a local icon for Liverpool’s biggest team, but he still lives with his parents, does the dishes and learns habits that help keep his life “clean and healthy”.
Staying in a place where everything is stable has helped him reach the heights he has, explains Alexander-Arnold.
“I always think young players rush things,” he told CNN senior sports analyst Darren Lewis. “You start getting paid some money and young players always think they move out first, buy a new car and stuff like that.
“And then the environment is just not the same. you live at home You have your parents to keep you in line and to make sure things are clean and tidy, dishes don’t pile up and you go home to a nice clean environment and so on.
“While you live at home (alone), breakfast and dinner, you just think, ‘I’ll do that later.’ And then you come out of training and then you’re just not in a clean, beautiful environment. So I never felt like I had to leave the house. I always had the right messages.
“I’ve just always enjoyed having family around me. And they kept my feet on the ground and got me to the level I’ve reached so far. So I don’t think I’m in any rush to make a decision.”
Alexander-Arnold has been a Liverpool fan for as long as he can remember.
Living just five minutes from the team’s training ground – he recalls asking his mother to accompany him and his siblings through the cracks in the walls on their off-days to catch a glimpse of their “idols” – and watching them on the weekends he was in love with the club from a young age.
To celebrate Liverpool’s dramatic Champions League victory in 2005, Alexander-Arnold was one of thousands who took to the city streets to welcome their heroes home in the open bus parade.
Despite being a huge fan, his own introduction to the club was pure luck. “It was like midterm camp and the invite was sent to my school and it was like, ‘So who wants to go?'” he said.
“And as you can imagine, everyone in the classroom raised their hands. We have to pull names out of a hat and luckily my name was picked. I went there with some classmates and after that – I don’t know, I don’t know how long it took – I think maybe 10, 15 minutes and a boy scout went up to my mom and said, ‘We want you to start, get him up here if you can?’”
And as he explains: “The rest is history.”
Since his first-team debut in 2016, Alexander-Arnold has blossomed into one of the most dynamic full-backs in the world, terrorizing defenses from deep with his precise crosses and precise through balls.
In his 161 Premier League games he has scored 10 goals, provided 45 assists and has a remarkable record of 114 wins and just 19 losses.
But despite that record, Manchester City’s brilliance under Pep Guardiola, Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool’s trophy win was hampered.
Yes, they’ve won plenty during his first-team spell, but the Reds have been narrowly guided to the Premier League title four times in the last five years – twice by just a point.
The clash between the two English juggernauts has become a must-watch over the course of a season, with Alexander-Arnold admitting the game against Man City is Liverpool’s “biggest game of the season”, despite traditionally having more intense rivalries with Everton and Manchester United.
“I think historically there will always be these tensions and rivalries with Everton and with United. But I think at the moment there are other reasons. I think there will always be a dislike for Liverpool and Everton and Man United.” he said.
“It will always be like that, no matter where a team ends up in the league, whenever they run, there are always very heated games and both fans really want to win them the most. But I think for other reasons now, Man City is the biggest game of the season, best team in England, one of those if not thealso his best team in the world.
“And of course they are the team that sets the pace and sets the benchmark for the rest of the league. Four leagues in five years is something not many teams can say we’ve accomplished. Therefore, it is difficult for us to look past them and look for another motivation. Our motivation is if we stay in and around City then you’re in a good place for the last four or five years.
Although last year was another successful season for Liverpool and Alexander-Arnold himself – with medals from FA Cup and League Cup winners added to the trophy cabinet – it ended on a sour note.
The game was delayed by 35 minutes as Liverpool fans struggled to get into the Stade de France, with French police using tear gas on fans who were being held in tightly packed areas.
After the game, despite the club’s accounts of the events and fans’ details, Reds fans were partly blamed for the disruption, with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin saying “that the disruptions caused were accompanied by a massive influx of spectators and large numbers.” related from wrong tickets.”
Senator Laurent Lafon, President of the Commission on Culture, Education and Communication, which co-authored the report, blamed the violent scenes at the finale “a series of malfunctions that occurred within a rather vague administrative and decision-making framework”.
And for Alexander-Arnold and the rest of his teammates, he admits the whole situation was “strange”.
“The messages that were sent through the stadium were late arrivals of fans and things like that… and you believe what you hear and see in those situations,” he said.
“Then of course we only found out the truth after the game and what happened, what happened. But I think how the fans dealt with it – when it happened, during the game and after the game and the months after that – was outstanding.
“It’s something we’re really proud of as players and as a club, how they’ve made sure the truth comes out. They made sure the fans aren’t just being blamed for things they’ve done.”