James Milner reveals his special advice to ‘incredible’ Liverpool teammate and how he felt after FA Cup victory
James Milner has seen it all in his 20-year career, having played in almost 800 professional games and nearly 300 for the Reds. He could be forgiven for being jaded about the success that continues to shower him in his mid-to-late 30s, but the multi-talented veteran is clearly determined to take full advantage of it.
“I wanted to watch our fans’ reaction,” he says of the decision to turn his back for the decisive penalty. “I had faith in Kostas, I know he’s got a wand of a left foot.
“Obviously you’re nervous, because you know there’s a good chance it could be over, but how many times do you get to play at Wembley and experience that?”
Milner has won the League Cup, Champions League, Premier League, and Club World Cup at Anfield, but the vice-captain, who is now 36, had a message for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is at the other end of his footballing adventure at Anfield.
“I said to Trent after the game: ‘Your cabinet is pretty full, but don’t get bored of it!’
“What an incredible player he is, but he’s lucky that he’s come into a team that is so good.
“He deserves it because of how good a player he is, but you never know when things are going to change, so you have to enjoy it while it’s here.”
Milner discusses his feelings after Liverpool won the FA Cup final.
So, how did it feel when Edouard Mendy conceded the game-winning penalty?
“Amazing!” he says. “You see everyone experiencing what you’re feeling yourself; relief, joy, everything.
“It’s a special group of players and a special group of people to share these things with in the dressing room after the game.”
“I went into the dressing room afterwards and all the lads were straight on their phones. I was like: ‘we’ve just won the FA Cup!’
“You get 40-50 messages to deal with, it’s great to see the families, the kids with the medals round their necks. It’s very special.
“You’re very lucky to play in any final, you’re lucky to be a footballer in the first place, and to play in finals and win 10 medals. If you said that at the start of my career, I’d have taken it.”