Monday 26 August 2019

'Roy Keane told me at Sunderland' - Jordan Henderson reveals why he didn't want to swap shirts with Lionel Messi

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (Peter Byrne/PA)
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (Peter Byrne/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jordan Henderson has revealed how some early-career advice from Roy Keane was ringing in his ears when he decided not to swap shirts with Lionel Messi as Liverpool sensationally dumped Barcelona out of the Champions League.

Liverpool conjured a magical second leg comeback at Anfield in the semi-final, overturning a 3-0 deficit with a sensational 4-0 win. Although Messi proved lethal in the first leg in Barcelona, Liverpool managed to crowd him out at Anfield en route to one of the all-time great Champions League turnarounds.

The Reds now face Spurs in the decider in Madrid this Saturday and ahead of the game, Henderson revealed the impact a few words from Roy Keane had early in his career.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Henderson explained why he didn't want to swap shirts with one of the greatest footballers ever.

"It was the first time I had been on a pitch with Lionel Messi," Henderson said of the first leg at the Camp Nou.

"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.

"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 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.

"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."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport