‘Zaha harder to play against than Neymar or Ronaldo’

Neymar & Ronaldo

The Crystal Palace dangerman is to date the opponent who has given Liverpool’s young full-back the most to think about on the pitch

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has claimed that he has more trouble keeping tabs on Wilfred Zaha than either Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alexander-Arnold, 20, has carved out a regular place in the Liverpool first team since last season.

He has since tussled with some of the best forwards in the game, going up against Ronaldo in the Champions League final between the Reds and Real Madrid.

But he places Crystal Palace star Zaha at the top as the toughest opponent he has ever faced.

“On the day, I’d say Zaha was the hardest,” Alexander-Arnold explained to the Times.

“Just his athleticism. You can’t get the ball off him, hard to tackle, fast, skilful, can score goals, set them up, a match-winner.

“With Neymar and Ronaldo, you can see they are very intelligent players, people who know their trade, different movements, but they never got much of the ball against us.

“Obviously Zaha is not at a level of Ronaldo and Neymar, but for me on the day Zaha was probably the hardest.”

Linked to the Anfield club since the tender age of six, Alexander-Arnold also admitted that he dreamed of wearing the captain’s armband – while revealing his admiration for the current skipper.


“[Jordan Henderson] is a great role model for everybody in the city,” he added.

“Off the pitch, he’s quite quiet. As soon as he crosses that white line, he’s a different person, he’s very passionate. He’ll scream and shout and encourage, do everything he can to win.

“That’s something we all look up to as our captain, to lead us out on to the pitch, lead us to victory and that’s what he does. He’s a born winner.

“I want to become captain one day. That’s definitely a dream of mine.

“I hope with dedication, the right advice and the hard work that still needs to be put in that one day I might achieve that dream of becoming captain, something that me and my family will be very proud of if it comes.”

Liverpool currently share the Premier League summit with reigning champions Manchester City, both teams picking up seven wins and two draws from their opening nine games.

The Reds are back in action in the Champions League on Tuesday at home to Red Star Belgrade, before returning to league action on Saturday against Cardiff.