KIEV, Ukraine — Jordan Henderson says winning trophies is part of Liverpool’s “DNA” as the Merseyside club look to end their six-year wait for a major honour on Saturday in the Champions League final.
Liverpool will participate in their first European Cup final in over a decade on Saturday night when they come up against Real Madrid, who are looking for their third successive Champions League crown, at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
Henderson, meanwhile, is also seeking to lift his first trophy as Liverpool captain and is confident that opportunity will soon be on its way under the management of Jurgen Klopp.
“It’s in the DNA of Liverpool Football Club to win trophies,” Henderson said at a news conference on Friday evening. “Us, as a team, want to win trophies for us, but also for the fans and for the club. We’re certainly going in the right direction to do that.”
Liverpool’s last final was in May 2016 when they were beaten 3-1 by Sevilla in the Europa League final.
Henderson was a substitute on that night in Basel, Switzerland, but insists he still feels the pain of that particular defeat and wants it to inspire Liverpool in Kiev.
“Last season was difficult not to get the Europa League [win], but I feel as though we can use that experience in this final,” he added. “It obviously hurt that night and you never really forget that, but you can use that as motivation and you can use that going forward.
“We’ve certainly done that since that night. We’ve definitely moved forward and we’re going in the right direction. But it’s also important to win trophies and hopefully we can start by winning one tomorrow.”
For Virgil van Dijk, a win in Kiev on Saturday would be the dream ending to his first season at Liverpool. The centre-half has impressed since his world-record move from Southampton in the January transfer window.
“I think from day one, the lads, the manager, the staff and everyone around the club have made me so welcome,” he told a news conference. “That helps a lot with settling in and obviously the results help as well.
“But I think Liverpool is my team and Anfield is my home. I love playing for this club. We’re in the Champions League final and we want to do it.
“Liverpool, as a club, deserves to be in the Champions League year in, year out. Hopefully that’s going to happen.”
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.