Jordan Henderson has explained how he didn’t want to swap shirts with Lionel Messi after the first-leg of last season’s Champions League semi-final.
Liverpool performed exceptionally at Camp Nou, but somehow found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline – thanks almost entirely to the brilliance of Barca’s Argentine great – who scored two goals including a stunning free-kick into the top corner.
Obviously, we all know what happened in the return leg – with Liverpool scoring four times and winning 4-0 against the odds to progress to the Final we eventually won v Spurs.
According to Liverpool’s captain, he made sure not to exchange tops with Messi after a lesson from Roy Keane back in his Sunderland days.
“You don’t think to yourself ‘Oh my God – that’s him,’ but there’s no question he plays the game differently to when you see him on TV. He’s so fast,” he said, cited in the Mirror.
“Thinking about his free-kick now, I still can’t believe he scored it. I actually thought he was going to take it short.
“I’ve told you how good I think Ali [Alisson] is, but Messi put that shot in the one area Ali couldn’t protect. The whip, the pace, the precision – it was absolutely perfect.
“Did I think about asking for his shirt? No. I’ve never done it,” he continues.
“Roy Keane told me when I was at Sunderland that if you ask for someone’s shirt, it looks like you are in awe of them.”
When football returns, Henderson will be able to lift the Premier League trophy – with Liverpool just two wins away from guaranteed title glory.
We fully back them for the win nice and quickly – but for now – are waiting patiently to hear about the game coming back to England.
Belgium and the Netherlands have cancelled their seasons, but Germany is returning in May – and we really hope the Premier League will follow the Bundesliga’s example.
Liverpool are 25 points clear, so there’s no way we won’t secure our first title in 30 years if the remaining 92 top flight games are played.
Obviously it won’t feel exactly the same with the games to be played behind closed doors – but right now – we’d take it!
Everyone will be fully fit in terms of injuries following the quarantine, but we can imagine some sides will be quite rusty immediately after the forced break.