Henderson reveals message which inspired him to CL glory

first_imgIt was the morning of the Champions League final, and a picture message dropped into Jordan Henderson’s inbox.It showed his younger self, maybe 10 or 11 years of age, kissing a gold trophy.He was a dreamer back then, a football-mad Sunderland supporter with a passion for the game and a burning desire to win things. It was, he says, all he thought about. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Now, aged 28, he can reflect on the greatest night of his career. Liverpool captain, European Cup-winning captain. It doesn’t get much better, surely?“Yes, not bad!” he says, with typical understatement. “It was an amazing feeling, when the final whistle goes it’s an amazing feeling to know we have done it, and then to lift the trophy was a special feeling, one that we will never forget. “My dream as a kid was to win trophies. My best friend sent us a picture this morning of me kissing a trophy when I was about 10, so that gave me even more motivation. The trophy was gold, quite big and I’m kissing it. That gave us a lot of motivation.”You’ll have seen all the images by now. The teary-eyed hugs with Jurgen Klopp, those incredible pictures of the trophy lift. The one of Henderson on Liverpool’s flight back from Madrid, using the European Cup as a footrest. Those epic scenes as the Reds returned to Merseyside to be greeted by hundreds of thousands of eager supporters.Memories to last a lifetime, though perhaps the most poignant moment of all involved a simple embrace between a father and his son, an outpouring of pure emotion on a remarkable night. “My dad has been through a lot over the past few years,” says Henderson. “Not only with himself [his father, Brian, fought a successful battle with throat cancer in 2014] but with his family as well. “I am sure he will be so proud to see us win the game and win the Champions League. It will mean the world to him. I am just glad I can put a smile on his face.”Not just his dad’s face. Victory over Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium confirms Liverpool’s status as Europe’s top dogs once more. Their sixth European Cup will have tasted as sweet as any, especially given the disappointment of losing in the final last season.“It’s nice to know we have come back from so many disappointments, and finally got over the line and won a big trophy,” Henderson agreed. “It is an amazing night and hopefully we can use this to win more in the future.”Jordan Henderson, Jurgen Klopp, LiverpoolHenderson revealed he and his team-mates had been inspired by seeing videos of Liverpool’s supporters as they took over the bars and squares of Madrid. It was estimated that around 50,000 fans had made the trip to the Spanish capital.“The videos get sent to us, don’t worry!” smiled Henderson. “The fans have been incredible ever since I have come to the club, but this past couple of years they have travelled everywhere with us in Europe. It costs them a lot of money and tonight makes it all worth it.“I am so proud of this team and I am happy we can give something [to the fans], they give everything, and so have we. I am so happy we can take the trophy back for them.”Henderson, of course, becomes only the fifth man to captain Liverpool to a European Cup. The four who went before him – Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard – are club legends. So has it sunk in yet that he will be forever there alongside them?“Probably it will be after I finish football, to be honest,” he said. “But there is still a long way to go. I am 28, I want to achieve a lot, keep improving as a player, I want the team to keep improving, I want to win more, that is all my focus is on now.“That’s the idea, we hope this can give us a lot of confidence. The big trophies, the big nights. I want to enjoy this moment but also when we come back for pre-season we will be focused on looking to the future.”Henderson had gathered Liverpool for a team meeting at Melwood ahead of the final, in which a number of senior players had their say. “I think we would have regretted if we didn’t have it,” he said. “I felt it was important to speak as a group before the final, it was an important conversation as a group. “A few of us said a few things. It was just about the game really, what we could experience in the game and how we could deal with them situations and obviously use the experiences that we had to use.“Hopefully it helped!”last_img

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