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English Premier League winner. Check. Winning it all with your boyhood club. Check.
For players and fans around the world such an extraordinary feat would be far beyond their wildest imagination.
But for Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, his fairytale dream has become a reality — all at the age of just 21.
The right-back celebrated the achievement with his teammates and coaching staff at a golf resort in the city as they watched Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 — thereby handing them the trophy with a record seven games to spare.
He admits, though, it wasn’t quite the way he’d pictured such a historic moment playing out in his imagination.
“I always dreamt it as a last minute winner. It was a tight, tight title race up until the last minute and we’d scored an equalizer to win the league,” he smiles.
One icon inspires another
It’s high praise, which the defender has used as inspiration.
“[Gerrard’s] a hero, a legend, an icon, someone who I always looked up to, someone that I try to become and want to emulate,” he said.
“I was just proud of him acknowledging my talents and singling me out individually as someone with a bright future. It was an honor for me…I always used him as an inspiration to become a better player.”
‘We want to write our own chapter’
Since making his first-team debut in October 2016, he has gone from strength to strength and is now widely acknowledged as one of the best full-backs in the world.
Alexander-Arnold, though, doesn’t want his or the club’s relentless pursuit of success to stop here — he wants to create a new legacy.
“When you’re playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world and you’re playing with world class players and you’ve got a world class manager the mentality has to be world class and that’s relentless all the time.
“To be able to do that you have to win trophies year after year, and next year it’s going to be about doing the same and recreating the feelings that we’re feeling for the next few years and trying to become a legendary Liverpool team.
“We want to write our own chapter in this amazing history of the club — we just want to be a special Liverpool team that fans can be proud of.”
A voice for change and equality
His ambitions on the pitch are matched by those off it.
During his side’s recent Premier League clash with local rival Everton, Alexander-Arnold wore boots which carried the message ‘Black Lives Matter.’ These were auctioned off after the game with the proceeds going to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“The movement has been so inspiring to me, seeing so many people involved and so many people pick it up, so many movements and institutions that are behind it.
“It’s powerful to be a part of something and to know that you’re an inspiration and a role model to a younger generation. It just inspires you more to put out the right messages.”
And Alexander-Arnold knows that for meaningful change to happen education is the key.
“People shouldn’t be treated differently because of the color of the skin or where they’re from. So it’s important to educate people.
“For now, it’s about getting these types of stories and getting these types of messages out there as much as possible just to enforce that change and that education.”