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World Cup winner Cafu defends England star Alexander-Arnold with Roberto Carlos claim

10:39 AM WAT 29/11/2022
Cafu Trent Alexander-Arnold Roberto Carlos
Brazil legend Cafu has once again sought to defend Trent Alexander-Arnold by pointing out that he and Roberto Carlos once faced similar criticism.
  • Liverpool star has his doubters
  • Defensive qualities questioned
  • Brazil legend remains a big fan

WHAT HAPPENED? The Liverpool and England full-back continues to see his defensive qualities called into question, with those supposed faults considered to be limiting his involvement at international level. Cafu, though, remains a big fan of the buccaneering 24-year-old – who has been a key man at Anfield during an era of Champions League and Premier League title triumphs – with iconic figures from Brazil’s past told that they could not defend before going on to savour World Cup glory in 2002.

WHAT THEY SAID: Cafu told Gazzetta dello Sport when asked to explain why Alexander-Arnold continues to be overlooked by England at Qatar 2022: “I don’t understand why. He has everything: quality, dribbling, pace, but it’s always the same story, they say you are not defensive enough and you remain out. Somebody used to say the same about Roberto Carlos and me, but I think we won something…

“Unfortunately, full-backs are too robotic these days, they get the ball, pass it, and run, I don’t see movements without the ball and no one-two passes.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Alexander-Arnold was selected by Gareth Southgate in England’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup, but has seen no game time across two fixtures in Group B with Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier charged with the task of taking on right-back duties and Manchester City star Kyle Walker working his way back from injury.

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WHAT NEXT? England will be back in action on Tuesday when taking on Wales, with Southgate’s side only needing to avoid a heavy defeat against their neighbours in order to make their way into the last-16.