The pursuit. It never stops. Use the experience; go again, realise you are on a “journey” and, crucially, it is not “all or nothing” if Liverpool lose in Madrid. “This team isn’t finished if we don’t win the Champions League,” Henderson continues. “We will keep challenging and we will keep wanting to win trophies for Liverpool, regardless of the outcome of the final.”
There is strong substance to Henderson’s words while that singled-minded belief, that de-cluttering and determination partly explains why Liverpool can overcome a 3-0 first-leg deficit in the semi-final to overwhelm Barcelona 4-0 in the return leg and why he carried on, despite receiving a heavy blow to his knee and taking a painkilling injection at half-time, to hassle, harry, cajole and set the level of “high intensity” to “make sure we did what we set out to do”. Henderson pushed it to one side. Clearly, then, he does he believe in fate? “Not really. I believe in hard work,” Henderson says, bluntly.
It is possible that all 10 outfield players who start in Madrid will be those who started in Kiev – with the crucial addition of goalkeeper Alisson – and to back up Henderson’s argument Liverpool are a far stronger team and squad, with greater depth on the bench and not least competition in midfield, than they were last season. And one that is yet to peak. “We’ve got a great squad, a great togetherness and the longer you are all here as a team, the stronger you get,” Henderson says. “Each year we have been getting better and better and this is just another step.”