Liverpool news: Henderson opens up on Champions League final pain | Football | Sport


Henderson is a part of the 23-man England squad that Gareth Southgate selected to travel to the international tournament Russia this month.

The Liverpool midfielder returned to action in the Three Lions’ 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica on Thursday night, playing 64 minutes at Elland Road.

That was his first return to the pitch since losing the Champions League final with Jurgen Klopp’s side in Kiev, going down 3-1 to Real Madrid.

And the 27-year-old has acknowledged that the pain of that loss remains significant but has vowed to use it as a motivator with England this summer.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget that,” he said. “It will always be there because it hurts so much. I think it can help though.

“It is difficult to think like that straight after it, but it was good that I got some time with my family just to switch off and refocus on the World Cup.

“You can learn from that experience and it can help you as a player to want to get there again. To keep striving and wanting more, to keep improving.

“It is about getting out on the pitch again as quickly as possible.”

Henderson’s place in England’s starting line-up is under threat. The former Sunderland youngster, having already lost the captaincy to Harry Kane, faces a fight with Eric Dier of Tottenham to be the team’s sole holding midfielder.

The Liverpool skipper was excellent there as the Reds enjoyed a fine European campaign but it remains unclear which of the pair will start against Tunisia on Monday June 18.

Yet Henderson insists he will play wherever is needed for Southgate’s side.

He added: “You can see a lot of the lads are confident. You have got to take that into the World Cup – be brave and confident.

“I feel in good form – have felt in good form for a long time. I feel as though I am going in the right direction and getting better.

“My role has changed for my club and country. It is about other people scoring and for me, it is about protecting a lot more. Trying to create, now and again, going forward and trying to start the play off.

“But overall defensively, I still have to be thinking about counter-attacking and that’s the most important thing. I will play wherever he wants me to play; whether that is a more protective role or more advanced.

“Obviously I have been a lot more used to the more entrenched position. But I would be pretty comfortable in either position.”

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