On Sunday afternoon, Kieran Trippier will likely lead Newcastle United under Wembley’s iconic arch as the captain of a team that has undergone unimaginable change and improvement over the last 18 months.

However, in a not too distant alternate reality, Trippier could have worn Manchester United’s red in the Carabao Cup final had his spell with Madrid ended prematurely.

Born locally in the Greater Manchester town of Bury, Trippier supported the Red Devils as a child, although his career began at the academy of nearby neighbors Manchester City, for whom he never made a major appearance.

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The England international got his first taste of senior football on loan at Barnsley, but it was at Burnley and then Tottenham Hotspur that his reputation really grew, finally in 2019 earning him an unexpected move abroad to Spanish giants Atlético Madrid, becoming the first Englishman to play for the Rojiblanca in 95 years.

In what turned out to be his final season in the Spanish capital, Trippier was a key member of the team that won La Liga, only the second time they had done so in 21.street century, beating city rivals Real Madrid for the title on the last day of the 2020/21 season.

That summer, following an impressive performance in the European Championship, attention was drawn to his boyhood club, Manchester United, then managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, eager to build an encouraging campaign of their own by adding the decorated full-back to their ranks.

The Atlético coach, Diego Simeone, was stubborn in insisting that Trippier’s termination clause be complied with, which the United hierarchy considered too high, so the now vice-captain of the Magpies remained in the Spanish capital until the following January , when Newcastle got their man.

Trippier recounted how the situation developed in an interview with The Athletic in January of last year. “After Euro, there was a lot of interest,” he explained. “I have to be careful what I say because I don’t want to get in trouble, but yes, there was interest.

“We had talks, but Atlético de Madrid only wanted my release clause and it was a lot of money for a 30-year-old player. So I understand why Man United didn’t do that. There were other interested clubs. It’s gone anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.

“I had many conversations with the coach (Diego Simeone) and behind the scenes with the president of Atlético. They made it clear that they didn’t want me to leave, but I had a couple of family reasons why I needed to come back.”

Known for his deliveries and threat from set pieces, the right-back has been going strong in the north-east ever since; instantly adding the necessary experience, character and quality to set aside those deprived of these qualities under the previous regime, and symbolizing what has been an impressive rise ever since.

“I wanted to go back north, and in the north, only Newcastle was interested. But I know the manager (Howe), and have worked with him before (at Burnley), and had good conversations with him about the project and what might happen.

“I thought maybe I could tempt other players to come here too, that if I joined Newcastle maybe it will show that we can get ahead. It’s going to be hard, but I’m willing to do it. It’s the perfect time for my family and me.”

On Sunday, the 32-year-old faces his boyhood club and the team he nearly made 18 months ago, but the only thing on his mind will be lifting the coveted trophy Newcastle fans crave and yearn for. see you around. Trippier knows what it means.

Table of Contents


Eddie Howe uses his own personal Wembley experience to guide Newcastle United stars

Former England and Arsenal man backs Manchester United to have ‘too much’ for Newcastle United

‘Make history’: Nobby Solano urges Newcastle United to right the wrongs of 1999 FA Cup final defeat

The inside story of Newcastle United’s Carabao Cup run: Burn’s dance, unsung heroes and early scare

Graeme Souness on ‘weight of expectation’ to end Newcastle United’s trophy drought


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