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Brazil legend Cafu backs Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold to win Ballon d’Or

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Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has the potential to be a future Ballon d’Or winner, according to two-time World Cup-winning full-back Cafu.

The Brazil and AC Milan legend believes he sees some of his own characteristics in the 2-year-old, who won the Champions League last season and is on course to lift the Premier League this campaign. 

Liverpool fans may take the acclaim with a pinch of salt though, as Cafu also backed former Reds full-back and current Rangers defender Jon Flanagan to be a world beater back in 2014.

Trent Alexander-Arnold can go on to lift the Ballon d'Or according to Brazil full-back Cafu

Trent Alexander-Arnold can go on to lift the Ballon d'Or according to Brazil full-back Cafu

Trent Alexander-Arnold can go on to lift the Ballon d’Or according to Brazil full-back Cafu

On their current defender, Cafu told the Mirror: ‘I think ­Alexander-Arnold is one of the best in the world, no doubt about it. 

‘He has got big potential. I can see lots of similarities between him and me when I was playing. I would say he’s got a Brazilian instinct in the way he plays.

‘My advice for him is ­simple: just keep doing what you have been doing for the last few years. Alexander-Arnold shouldn’t change his way of playing. Even if he makes mistakes, he should carry on doing what he’s doing.

‘I think he has what it takes to become a Ballon d’Or winner. We have to change this ­paradigm where the Ballon d’Or is only won by ­attackers and strikers.’

Alexander-Arnold is one of the leading contenders for player of the year this season after a sensational campaign, which has seen him register 10 assists, in addition to the 12 goals he created last year. 

Jon Flanagan was tipped to achieve greatness by Cafu after breaking through at Liverpool

Jon Flanagan was tipped to achieve greatness by Cafu after breaking through at Liverpool

Jon Flanagan was tipped to achieve greatness by Cafu after breaking through at Liverpool

On Flanagan, Cafu said in 2014: ‘I first started hearing about him by watching Premier League matches and observing his performance along with other players,’ said the 43-year-old.

‘I then started seeing some news saying he is the Red Cafu! So there’s nothing better than coming to the city and taking a picture with my successor.

‘He is a good player; still young and developing, but already gaining recognition at Liverpool and he might even have an opportunity with the English national team. He’ll be a great English player in the future.

‘He has speed, strength and determination. He’s an athlete who goes after it and never gives it up. That’s exactly what I used to do; there were no missing chances for me, no tiredness and no being dejected.’

Cafu lifted the World Cup as captain in 2002, having also won with Brazil in 1994

Cafu lifted the World Cup as captain in 2002, having also won with Brazil in 1994

Cafu lifted the World Cup as captain in 2002, having also won with Brazil in 1994

 

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