Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is set to live out many a boys dream when he leads his club out in the Champions League final against Real Madrid next weekend in Kiev.
However, the England international has revealed that things could have turned out a lot differently had he accepted then Reds boss Brendan Rodgers wish to sell him in 2012.
“Brendan [Rodgers] called me in and said ‘listen, this is the offer’ and he asked me what I thought,” he told the Daily Mail.
“It implied to me that he would let me leave and it was up to me. I went back to my room. I shed a few tears. I ended up crying a little bit because it hurt so much. I had the game that night to think about it as well.
“I spoke to my agent and told him what had happened and I said I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay and fight and try and improve and try to prove the manager wrong. My agent agreed. I spoke to my dad. He was gutted but he backed my decision to stay and fight.”
‘From that point, I just kept my head down. I knew I wouldn’t get as much game time as I wanted but I still had faith. I was young enough to get my head down, keep working hard, do my extra bits and prove them wrong and I feel I managed to do that by the time Brendan left. There are always those moments in football — and life in general — which can decide the path and the route you go down. For me it was never an option to leave.’
Henderson moved to Anfield from boyhood club Sunderland for £20 million in 2011, and to be fair it was not just Rodgers who questioned whether the midfielder was good enough to play for a club of the stature of Liverpool.
However, his hard work and dedication over the years has paid off and he has gone on make over 200 Premier League appearances for the Reds, as well as doing a fine job as captain since taking over from Steven Gerrard in 2014.