Trent Alexander Arnold: Liverpool’s local boy on family values & shining on world stage

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Trent Alexander-Arnold's 'unbelievable journey'
As a young boy Trent Alexander-Arnold would dream of what it would be like inside Liverpool's training ground. Living a stone's throw from Melwood, he would peer through cracks in the wall to catch a glimpse of his heroes.He watched as his idols Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Xabi Alonso lifted the Champions League in 2005 and now, aged just 19, he has the chance to emulate them.The right-back, who still lives at home with his mother and brothers, faces arguably the toughest challenge of his fledgling career against Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final on 26 May.
It will cap a remarkable rise for Alexander-Arnold, who is set to be the only Liverpudlian starter in Jurgen Klopp's team for Kiev having made his senior debut just 17 months ago.As if that wasn't enough, the uncapped defender could be named in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad on Wednesday.Factor in the fact that Alexander-Arnold's football story started by pure luck when his name was picked out of a hat to attend a Liverpool summer camp, and clearly his is a tale worth hearing.Here, Alexander-Arnold tells the BBC's sports editor Dan Roan about "father figure" Klopp, marking Mohamed Salah in training, his England hopes and why, despite signing a £40,000-a-week deal, he isn't allowed to leave home just yet.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold in conversation with BBC sports editor Dan RoanDR: Take us back to the beginning. Where did you grow up and how did you first start your footballing journey[/img][b]How did you come to be in the academy?
It's quite a funny story. I was about six and Liverpool had a community summer camp. They sent a few invites to my school and my age group, to my class specifically, and they were like, 'who wants to go?' So every lad in the class put their hands up as you'd imagine, so the only fair way was to pick names out of a hat and luckily my name was picked out.I went along on the half-term and then within about 30 minutes of the first session, one of the scouts or coaches, went over to my mum and said, 'will you start bringing him up two or three times a week from now on?' and since then I've been a Liverpool player.How important is it to you to be local hero?Massive. I think when I was growing up and I saw the likes of Gerrard, Carragher - the homegrown players, the scousers - in the team it always gave me a bit more inspiration and motivation.It can happen to local lads with the hard work and talent and drive. If you dedicate yourself to it enough it'll happen. With them being there, that gave me a lot more motivation than maybe if it weren't local players. Hopefully that's how the young players of the academy and the kids in and around Liverpool look up to me now.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold joined Liverpool as a six-year-old. He made his first-team Liverpool debut in October 2016 and has played 31 games this seasonWhat was it like living in West Derby[/img]

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Trent Alexander-Arnold lives in Liverpool with his two brothers and mum[b]You will be up against five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo as Real Madrid seek a third consecutive Champions League title...
As a player you want to test yourself, you want to put yourself against the best players that you can and to get that opportunity hopefully in Kiev on a huge stage it doesn't really come bigger than that so I think the excitement levels are high.Tell me about Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and the faith he has shown in you.He's the manager that I came up through, he is the one who gave me my chances. He was always there to give me support, still is a fatherly figure in that sense. [He] is a truthful person, which is an attribute that all managers should have - just tell you what you need to improve on and how you can get into the team.You have had a meteoric rise this season, what's it like to reflect on now[/img]

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Jurgen Klopp: Trent Alexander-Arnold ready for England if needed
[b]What do you put your success down to?
Hard work, I think that is the foundation for everything. I think growing up from the age of six, that's when I first started, so hard work on a daily basis is how you lay the foundation and that's when your talent takes over and you try show what you can do.This is your breakthrough season, how have you matured?I feel that when I look back on last season I was a bit immature, a bit rash in challenges, decision-making in pressurised situations, but I think that the more games you play, the more minutes you play, the more in and around the first team you are, the easier it becomes. You get used to situations you've not been in before. You get used opposition fans booing you, shouting stuff. When you get thrown into the deep end, that helps you as a young player.How do you deal with criticism?Again, it's family, they'll have the right advice. They know what to say when things aren't going well and it's a part of football that you make mistakes. It's about how you get over them how you use them to your advantage. Mistakes I've made throughout the season help me try not make them again.What is it about Liverpool and in Europe do you think?I think it's the support, we've had so many historic nights - great comebacks, different types of wins. I think the fans just believe that when we are in that competition, when you get the floodlights on in Anfield, you get the Champions League song on, it's a different place to go to. It's so much harder for the opposition, especially Manchester City. They'd been there in the league and they thought, 'oh, it'll be the same' but it's a completely different place on a European night. I think it's just down to the fans and the belief.
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Mohamed Salah is the Premier League's top scorer this season[b]Do you have to sometimes mark Salah in training, what's that like[/img]

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Liverpool beat Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League[b]How much belief is there that Liverpool can win the Champions League[/img]

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Liverpool have reached the Champions League final for the first time since 2007[b]Is it sometimes hard to believe the whole of the footballing world will be watching you up against Cristiano Ronaldo[/img]


He has played at every Engkand youth level from under-16s to under-21s
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