Brazil legend hails 21-year-old Liverpool star’s ‘speed, strength, determination’

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Former right-back Cafu has hailed Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan having seen the youngster draw comparisons with him.

It was not long into his breakthrough season that Liverpool full-back Jon Flanagan was being dubbed the Reds' equivalent of Brazilian legend Cafu.

But it still came as a surprise when said legend turned up at Anfield to meet Flanagan and his Liverpool teammates at the end of the Premier League campaign.

And now, Cafu has spoken to the club’s official website about the young defender, who will still be hoping for a World Cup place this summer having made it onto Roy Hodgson’s stand-by list.

“I first started hearing about him (Flanagan) by watching Premier League matches and observing his performances along with other players,” Cafu said.

“I then started seeing some news that he is the Red Cafu!”

The 21-year-old has had a spectacular season for the Reds, clocking up 25 appearances and being talked of by many as a future stalwart in both the Liverpool and England defences.

But what does Cafu like most about the player?

“He has speed, strength and determination,” the 43-year-old said. “He’s an athlete who goes after it and never gives it up. That’s exactly what I used to do.

“I hope he continues that way and achieves as many trophies as I did.”

Flanagan will have to go some to match the achievements of the man he is now regularly compared to. But he is on the right path and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will surely use him whenever he is fit from now on.

In short, Flanagan has made himself indispensable. And not every Premier League player can say that.

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