Alexis Mac Allister: I look at my World Cup medal every day – and want to build my own museum

Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Premier League match against Brentford and Liverpool at the Gtech Community Stadium
Mac Allister has become a vital cog in the Liverpool wheel this season - AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Alexis Mac Allister has a daily ritual which is the privilege of only a select few footballers.

Since a glorious night in December 2022, he takes out his World Cup winners’ medal, clutches tightly and reminds himself that he has already fulfilled the ultimate sporting ambition.

“I look at it every single day,” says the Liverpool midfielder.

“That is what it means to me, and to the country as well. My plan is to one day create a little museum at home — a room where everything is there. I have a replica of the World Cup, the medal and some more trophies — they are all in a safe place for now - and my plan is to be able to have a place for them where I can always see them.”

In the visual design, Mac Allister is leaving space for more memorabilia, starting with this Sunday’s Carabao Cup against Chelsea.

“Hopefully. That is what I wanted when I signed for this club,” he says. “I said I wanted to win trophies. It will be my first final with Liverpool and first opportunity to win something, so it is going to be something very special for me and the team.”

The emphasis on “the first” underlines the confidence Mac Allister’s trophy cabinet will need expansion. The comment is matter-of-fact rather than arrogant.

Alexis Mac Allister of Argentina celebrates with their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Winners Medal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar
Alexis Mac Allister was a World Cup winner in 2022 - Getty Images/Mike Hewitt

When you have played and won a World Cup final alongside Lionel Messi, it is natural to believe it is only the start. The same may be said of his international team-mate and Chelsea rival Enzo Fernandez, of course.

“Maybe it is the biggest game in the world, the World Cup final,” says Mac Allister. “The World Cup helped me to realise that I really want to win more trophies. It gives you of course a lot of confidence and it definitely helps when you have experience.

“I am still young as well. I am 25. It is the biggest game ever for a football player, so it is something that I am really proud of. Hopefully next week the Carabao Cup medal can be something I will look at as well.”

What advice can he give to teammates — especially the younger members of Liverpool’s squad — who are preparing for their first final?

“It [being the first] is not the most important thing,” he says. You can see players who played a final for the first time and they do very well, like it was for me in the World Cup.

“Every player and every person is different so I wouldn’t say much to them. They just need to enjoy their football and do the same they do every day. We have a lot of good players — young players as well — so we will prepare and go for it.”

Football is the Mac Allister family business, his father Carlos, brothers Kevin and Francis, and uncle Patricio are all current or ex-professionals, ensuring frequent advice — especially paternal — after every game.

Alexis Mac Allister of Liverpool and brother Kevin Mac Allister
Mac Allister faced his brother, Kevin, when Liverpool played Union Saint-Gilloise earlier this season - Getty Images/James Gill

“Not always positive!” he laughs. “But that helps me and my brothers a lot because I like it when a person is as honest as he is. That definitely helps me.”

Will Dad be at Wembley? “No. This time it is for my mum [Silvina]. Hopefully it will be a special day for her as well.”

Being bred to be an elite player helps explain why the Argentine’s maturity belies his youth.

When James Milner and Jordan Henderson left, Liverpool needed like-minded personalities to maintain the professional standards. The scouts’ due diligence on Mac Allister was exceptional.

One of the most fluent English speakers among Liverpool’s South American contingent, he has assumed a role as a ‘natural connecter’ on and off the pitch since his bargain £35 million move from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Where Milner famously endorsed the qualities of Ribena, Mac Allister is rarely spotted at the AXA training centre without his bombilla straw and South American maté [herbal drink].

After he was injured against Sheffield United before Christmas, many correctly predicted he would be fit again sooner than first anticipated because of his determination to get back on the pitch, while his versatility has been fundamental to Jurgen Klopp’s rebuild.

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp hugs Alexis Mac Allister at the end of the Premier League match against Chelsea at Anfield
Klopp has lauded Mac Allister's versatility this season - AP/Jon Super

“It is crazy because since the first day here I really felt a connection that I have not felt at any other club,” he says.

“At the other clubs it was more about the time it took to settle. Here, from the first day, the people here helped me settle in very well. I really feel a connection with the fans and the club and I really like it here. It is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Hopefully I will spend many years here.”

Given Sunday’s opponents were in the market for just about every other midfielder on Liverpool’s radar last summer, could he have ended up at Stamford Bridge, too? “Liverpool was the only chance,” assures Mac Allister.

Did he try to convince ex-Brighton team-mate Moises Caicedo to follow him before he rejected Anfield for London?

“It is a personal decision and I would never be in the middle. That is what he chose and that is completely fine,” he said, adding with a smile. “Maybe he hurt me a little bit with what happened in the summer! But it is completely fine.

“It is a personal decision. He is an amazing player, a really good guy so I wish him all the best every day of his life – but not on Sunday.”