Jordan Henderson Recalls His Experience Of Playing Against Lionel Messi For The First Time
Jordan Henderson has opened up about his experience of playing against Lionel Messi for the first time.
Barcelona beat Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League clash at the Camp Nou earlier this month, with the 31-year-old Argentine forward scoring a brace.
The Liverpool captain didn't start the match, but he was called into action when he was brought on for Naby Keïta in the first half.
Now, the 28-year-old midfielder has recalled his feelings of playing against the Barça captain.
"As it turned out, I came on quite early as Naby Keïta got injured. It was the first time I had been on a pitch with Lionel Messi," he told the Daily Mail.
"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 [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.
"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.
"As it turned out, I came home with Luis Suárez's shirt. Luis is a good lad and he gave me it as a gesture as we had played together for Liverpool. I don't know what he's done with mine!"
Of course, Liverpool would secure their place in the Champions League final after they thrashed the La Liga champions in their second-leg semi-final clash at Anfield.
In fact, Messi opened up about the defeat last week and said that what "happened at Liverpool is in my head."
Liverpool will play against Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on 1st June.
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Featured Image Credit: PA