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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admits another Champions League defeat to Real Madrid is difficult to process but believes recent history repeating itself may not be such a bad thing.

In 2018 in Kyiv, Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten 3-1 after two freakish goals from Gareth Bale but went on to win a sixth European Cup 12 months later with victory over Tottenham and followed that up the next year with a first league title in 30 years.

So Henderson hopes the 1-0 defeat at the Stade de France to a LaLiga side winning the competition for a 14th time can be a catalyst for something better next year.

“It’s still difficult now to process everything with how the game went in the end. It’s hard to speak about it,” said the 31-year-old, who has still led the team to a Carabao-FA Cup double.

“I felt as though we had three or four good chances and the keeper (Thibaut Courtois) made world-class saves.

“Hopefully we can have a good break now and then use that to process this season and everything that’s happened and use it to go again next season when we come back.

“We’ve had this feeling before and reacted in the right way. Hopefully we can do the same again, I’m sure we will.

“The mentality and character within the dressing room is outstanding and yes, we will be disappointed, and it’s hard because we have such a long time to think about it now.

“But I can say we’ve given absolutely everything all season, and sometimes you can’t do more than that.

“Football’s fine margins, that’s the way it is. We’ve had a little bit of luck in domestic cups on penalties when we won them. Against Real and in the league we didn’t.

“We have to deal with that and use it in the right way and use it to go forward and be stronger and better next season.”

Despite a domestic cup double, a campaign in which Liverpool played every one of the 63 matches for which they were eligible and took the Premier League title race down to the last 10 minutes of the season ended on a negative with crushing disappointments on back-to-back weekends.

But Henderson said that should not overshadow their achievements and, having delivered a positive message to the players in the dressing room in his post-match interviews, Klopp told fans to “book the hotel” for next year’s final in Istanbul.

“To be fair, the manager in these situations is really good and he can see the bigger picture. As players it’s really difficult,” added the Liverpool captain.

“It will take a little bit of time for us, but I have no doubt we will use it in the right way and use it to be better and stronger.

“We have always reacted in the right way, and I am sure we will do it again.

“I hope when we are on holiday and having a break we realise that this season has been special.

“I don’t know when the last time we went to a final or the last game in every single competition was. It shows the mentality and talent of the squad.

“We couldn’t give any more and football is down to fine margins.

“It is really difficult to stand here and be positive, but I really hope in the next few weeks we can look back on the season it can be a positive one.”

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England footballers Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson will receive the MBE as part of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honours list announced on Friday.

Manchester City forward Sterling, 26, is being recognised for his campaigning against racism and setting up a foundation for deprived children.

“I am grateful to have been recognised but my priority is to try to help to educate society and myself,” Sterling said. “If it doesn’t start from within, then there’s no way you can help others.

“I’m learning every day. My motivation for racial equality is to get people to understand the difficulties people from diverse backgrounds face and create an environment where everybody is equal.”

Liverpool captain Henderson will receive the honour after spearheading the ‘Players Together’ fund for Premier League players to raise money for the National Health Service at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

“I accept this in the knowledge I was part of something special, rather than the reason for it,” the 30-year-old midfielder said.

“The other Premier League captains were the catalyst and the rest of the players, including my own team mates at Liverpool, were a driving force behind the scenes.”

Henderson and Sterling are currently part of the England squad, who open their European Championship campaign against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.

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Jordan Henderson has said fans booing England’s players for taking the knee achieves nothing and proves the fight against racism is far from over.

The row over the anti-racism action has threatened, in England, to overshadow the start of Euro 2020 and has led to Gareth Southgate’s players finding themselves on the end of an angry reaction from a section of supporters before games.

There were jeers before England faced Austria and Romania in recent friendlies at the Riverside Stadium and there are fears the dispute will rumble on when Southgate’s side meet Croatia in their Group D opener at Wembley on Sunday.

Yet the backlash will not stop England taking the knee. Southgate made his case eloquently last weekend, and in an article published on Tuesday made clear his determination to keep using his position to raise awareness of society’s ills. Henderson has echoed his manager’s sentiments by saying his teammates are more determined than ever to take the lead in the fight against discrimination.

“I think it shows that if there’s still people booing because we’re standing together against racism, then there really still is a problem and we’ve still got to fight it and stand together,” England’s vice-captain said. “It shows even more that we have to keep going, keep fighting it. From our side, it’s about being together and doing what we think is right.”

Henderson, who insisted he would be fit to face Croatia after a groin injury, was asked whether booing players achieved anything. “It doesn’t,” he said. “We’ve made it very clear that we all stand together against racism. That’s the reason that we continue to take the knee.

“The lads are starting to feel like they don’t really want to talk about it any more. Of course, everyone knows we stand together and you’ll see that in taking the knee, but we want to get on with the football and concentrate on that. That’s our focus.”

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AN ANGRY JURGEN Klopp had two reasons to leave Goodison Park fuming after VAR cost his side the chance of victory in a Merseyside derby in which two key players sustained potentially serious injuries.

The Liverpool manager was furious Jordan Henderson’s added-time goal to make it 3-2 was ruled out for the tightest of offside decisions on review, while he was at a loss to explain how Jordan Pickford had not been dismissed and conceded an early penalty for a knee-high challenge on Virgil Van Dijk.

That tackle ended the Holland captain’s afternoon and Klopp admits the injury is “not good”, while the challenge which did result in a red card being shown to Richarlison also appears to have put Thiago Alcantara on the sidelines.

It is not good. Virgil played I don’t know how many games in a row, he plays with pain, but he couldn’t play on and that’s not good,” said Klopp.

“When I leave the pitch Thiago tells me in the Richarlison red card situation he thinks he got injured.

“Then coming into the dressing room people are standing around with a laptop and I say ‘What’s wrong?’ and they say ‘We have watched it back and we don’t understand why it (Henderson’s goal) is offside’.

“I am a real supporter of VAR – the picture I saw there is no offside, since then I have had 10 interviews and everyone tells me it was not offside and that doesn’t lift my mood.

“We lost one player in a situation where VAR was not involved with Virgil and maybe another one in the red card situation and scored a legitimate goal which didn’t count – so obviously not our day but the performance was the performance I wanted to see.”

Klopp alluded to the fact he thought Pickford may have tried to purposefully hurt Van Dijk, who had not missed a minute of Premier League football since January 2018.

It was a clear penalty I saw and then we saw the flag went up. I thought they would still look at the foul but that didn’t happen,” he added.
“I don’t want to say Jordan Pickford wanted to do it but it is not a challenge how a goalie can do in the box.”

The Pickford incident came with Everton already trailing to Sadio Mane’s third-minute goal, which was subsequently cancelled out by Michael Keane’s first-half header.

Mohamed Salah thought he had won the game with his 100th Liverpool goal in 159 matches, a brilliantly instinctive volley, but a trademark Dominic Calvert-Lewin header levelled things up again.

In the 90th minute Richarlison went in high on Thiago to become the 22nd dismissal in 57 Premier League Merseyside derbies before Henderson’s goal was ruled out after Mane was adjudged to have been offside by a barely-perceptible margin.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, who saw his Premier League leaders’ 100 per cent start to the season ended as a 10-year, 23-match winless run against their neighbours was extended, was happy with the performance.

“We could win, draw or lose. I am not talking about the result, the performance was good,” he said.

“We wanted to compete against Liverpool and we competed really well with good spirit.

“We never lost confidence, we were able to equalise two times, we had opportunities to go up with Richarlison hitting the post.

“The performance was satisfying, I am really satisfied.”

Despite another error of judgement by Pickford, Ancelotti refused to criticise his goalkeeper, who did redeem himself with three decent saves in the game.

“I think he played a good game, like the others. Good saves, he was focused in the goal, a good performance. I am not worried,” he added

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Jordan Henderson beats Kevin De Bruyne to Footballer of the Year for 2019/20

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been named as the FWA Footballer of the Year, just days after lifting the Premier League trophy.

The midfielder has beaten players like Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and his own team-mate Sadio Mane to the award.

Over the last 13 months, the skipper has picked up medals for the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League.

Topping it off with one of the highest individual honours you can get in England isn’t a bad way to finish this season.

As a reminder, the FWA – or the Football Writers’ Association – picks their player of the year based on votes taken from people working in the media.

Henderson has now become the fourteenth Liverpool player to have been given the award, after recent winners Mohamed Salah, Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.

The skipper will go down in history as one of the great Liverpool captains, and his contributions on and off the field has seen him celebrated this year.

Supporters will now have to wait to see if Henderson can do the double and swoop the PFA Player of the Year award!