Football

Klopp’s speech inspired Champs League run: Henderson

An inspiring speech by Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp in the aftermath of the Europa League final loss to Sevilla two years ago was the catalyst for this season's run to the Champions League title clash, captain Jordan Henderson has said.

Liverpool are within touching distance of a sixth European crown and are looking to deny holders Real Madrid a 13th title when the teams face off in Kiev's Olympic Stadium on Sunday morning (Singapore time).

"He looked at the bigger picture and the future and he felt as though it could be a big moment in our careers to learn from the experience," Henderson told the British media.

"He had this vision that made me think in the future we'd get to another final.

"He wanted to use the experience of that final to keep us together and use it as a positive.

"If we got to another final, we'd be ready. At that moment, I sensed that he could see that he was confident about getting to another final.

" I can't remember word-for-word, but he had something about him that felt it was the start of something."

Liverpool have put 2016's 3-1 defeat by Sevilla in Basel well behind them and are firing on all cylinders in Europe's elite club competition this campaign.

The Merseyside club have already plundered 40 goals in their march to the final, and England international Henderson credits Klopp with re-energising the team.

"I think you can see how he has taken the team forward since then has been fantastic. I see how hungry the team are to be successful," Henderson added.

"I have spoken about the manager having a massive impact since he's come in, which he has.

"He is our leader and everyone looks up to him."

The enthusiasm has also spread to Liverpool defender, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The 19-year-old has been one of the most compelling stories of Liverpool's thrilling run to the final, having greeted every challenge with a nerveless calm since marking his Champions League debut with a goal in their qualifying-round tie against Hoffenheim last August.

Should he start against Real, he would become the youngest player in the club's history to appear in a European final.

"It's exciting times. It's down to my teammates and everyone who has helped me get better, the manager, everyone in the background that's helped me," he said. - REUTERS

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