Soccer

Jordan Henderson explains how Jurgen Klopp transformed him on and off the pitch

Jordan Henderson has credited Jurgen Klopp for giving him a proper perspective on football and life.

Henderson says he used to beat himself up if he made a mistake or played badly before Klopp taught him not to be so self-critical.

The Liverpool skipper, who is the Reds’ current longest-serving senior player, has blossomed under Klopp’s tutelage and won the FWA Footballer of the Year last season for his key role in the Reds’ title success.

“I gain confidence from work when I work harder than everyone else, whether that would be in the gym or the pitch,” he said in the documentary about Liverpool’s title win ‘The End of the Storm’.

“That obsession has always been there from a young age. I never like to hear praise, I’m my own worst critic.

“I find it difficult to switch off from football. I’m constantly thinking about football all the time, thinking about how I can improve.

“When I was younger, when I went home from playing football, I would carry it home, it would still affect me in my normal life.

“When Jurgen came in, I feel he’s changed a lot for me personally as a footballer, but also as a human being and helped me to understand and look at things differently.

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“That’s been really big, not only in football, but my life.”

Kenny Dalglish signed Henderson from Sunderland for £16million in 2011 a week before his 19th birthday and says he needed “a little cuddle” to reassure him.

“When you come into a new football club, it’s not easy,” said the Liverpool legend, who presented Henderson with the Premier League trophy when they were crowned champions.

“He was 19 years of age I think. Every mistake he made, he thought it was his fault.

“The team losses the game and the team wins the game. Destroying yourself isn’t going to be healthy to you or anybody.

“With Jordan, he just needed a little cuddle sometimes.

“Jurgen gives him great responsibility. If you can play for someone, who you feel trusts you, then it’s going to give you a whole lot of confidence.”

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