Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold says he has “trained 13 years” for the forthcoming Champions League final against Real Madrid.
The 19-year-old right-back has been a key figure in Liverpool’s Champions League campaign this term, missing only one game in the knockout phases – their last-16 second leg draw against Porto.
Alexander-Arnold was able to keep Premier League champions Manchester City quiet in the quarter-final, but he faces the daunting task of marking the tournament’s top scorer – Cristiano Ronaldo – in the final on May 26.
“I have trained for 13 years for these moments, these types of games,” Alexander-Arnold told The Telegraph.
“You prepare yourself for it without even knowing. I will keep working hard in the next few days to get better, to improve, to get to a new level.
“That is the main thing, to keep striving, to focus on myself and make sure I get a good game. Then there is more chance of me not giving him [Ronaldo] too many chances to do what he does best.”
Gareth Southgate named Alexander-Arnold, who had never previously been called up to the national team, in his 23-man England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
“Even though the timing has been a surprise – I never felt right now I would be going to a World Cup – I always dreamed I would be going at some point,” he added.
“I have thought things over in my mind millions of times growing up. Every situation that has happened I have imagined.”