Liverpool have confirmed the young ball boy who played a vital role in their Champions League victory over Barcelona has signed a professional contract with the club.
The Reds demolished Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield in 2019 after losing the first leg of their semi-final 3-0 to secure a remarkable comeback.
Jurgen Klopp’s side would win the competition for the sixth time in their history and one unknown kid play a huge role.
The most important goal, Divock Origi’s second and the Reds’ fourth, came from a quick corner taken by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Young Oakely Cannonier handed the ball to Alexander-Arnold and he was part of the club’s youth setup.
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) May 7, 2019
Aged 14 at the time, Oakley immediately threw the ball ball to Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool pressed in search of their fourth goal. It came, and the rest was history.
Jose Mourinho even praised Cannonier post-match in his analysis for RT.
He said: “The goalkicks, the tempo of the game, the ball boys can also play a part in a good structure.
“In this game, the kid, very intelligent, very bright.”
Following the semi-final win, it emergedBarcelona players moaned and became frustratedwhenever they conceded a set-piece during the first leg and Liverpool used that to their advantage.
Klopp subsequently sent a message to Carl Lancaster, a coaching mentor at club’s Kirkby academy.
The teenager went onto to make headlines two months later as he scored his first goal for Liverpool U-18’s.
Then in December 2020, a clip on Twitter surfaced showing the former ball boy producing an excellent finish against Burnley, which received widespread space across social media.
Nice goal by Cannonier, the ball boy who allowed Trent to take the corner quickly pic.twitter.com/OijnOg67nt
— 9 (@F9Txrres) December 2, 2020
Liverpool fans will be hoping that in years to come, that involvement as a ball boy won’t be the only reason they remember the name Oakley Cannonier.