Jordan Henderson has been described as a “role model for English football” by his former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez.
Suarez will be lining up against Henderson on Wednesday night when Atletico Madrid visit Anfield for their latest Champions League group match. Henderson is the last man standing from the Liverpool squad that Suarez left in 2014.
They were teammates on Merseyside for three years. Even though their paths have separated, they have both enjoyed plenty of success since.
Suarez earned a transfer to Barcelona after his stint with Liverpool, going on to score 198 goals for them. He left Barca for Atleti in summer 2020 – the same year Henderson lifted the Premier League trophy for Liverpool.
It marked the culmination of years of hard work for Henderson, who initially struggled to adapt to life at Liverpool. Eventually, he became a key player and captain – a role he retains to this day.
Suarez has certainly noticed how his former teammate has improved over the years. He now thinks Henderson has set an example for others to follow.
“I think he’s a player who’s improved a great deal,” he told UEFA.com.
“When he joined Liverpool, he came with the tag of somebody who had cost a lot of money. He was a young, English, coming from Sunderland.
“This may have put some pressure on him, but as he grew in confidence with the team, he took many things from [Steven] Gerrard, and from experienced players such as [Jamie] Carragher. He took things on board from me.
“I think that, as a captain, he has matured a lot. During his career, he has helped the club grow, with his personality and playing better football. He’s a role model for English football.
“Winning a Premier League title with Liverpool must have been fantastic for him. And it’s made him greater than he already was.”
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Elsewhere in his interview, Suarez reflected on when he wanted to leave Liverpool one year before he did – and how Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard talked him out of it.
“I think I’d been at Liverpool for a year and a half when Brendan took charge in…