Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has paid an emotional tribute to team-mate Jordan Henderson, saying no-one deserves success more than the Reds skipper.
Lallana has developed a close friendship with the 30-year-old, having played alongside him for the entirety of his Reds career since joining from Southampton in 2014, with Henderson arriving from Sunderland three years previously.
Henderson struggled for fitness and consistency in his early seasons at Anfield, with rumours the club were considering moving him on.
However, he has thrived since succeeding Steven Gerrard as captain in 2015, playing a central role in the club’s success under Jurgen Klopp in recent years.
In the last 12 months alone the England international has lifted the Champions League, Super Cup, World Club Cup and now the Premier League. He also received individual recognition when he was named Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.
Lallana, who has also endured his ups and downs at Anfield, welled up when talking about his team-mate, how seriously he took his responsibility as captain and the hard work behind his eventual success.
“Having been with Jordan throughout the whole journey I’ve been lucky enough to be alongside him when he had his dark moments and couple of injuries that he’s had,” he told the club’s website.
“He’s also been alongside me in my dark moments, injuries. We always come back to injuries. It’s not just defeats that are dark moments, it’s injuries as well.
“There was one game when we lost, well we drew 3-3 away to Sevilla. I say we lost because it felt like a defeat. I just remember he had his hood up and he kind of took the brunt of that result, took full responsibility. We were 3-0 up at half-time and it finished 3-3, and just hearing him say as captain, ‘That can’t happen, I’ve got to be responsible and I’m responsible for that being a Liverpool captain.’
"Just to hear how honest he was, I was thinking ‘Are you crazy to be taking that responsibility? It’s the team’s responsibility and we’ve not even lost the game.’
"But, that just epitomises his selflessness and how much responsibility he takes for this football club in the bad moments. That’s why he deserves this more than anyone else. He deserves to be captain of Liverpool holding the four trophies in one season more than anyone else and no-one can take that away from him, ever.
"Being not just his friend, but his team-mate makes me so proud and privileged. Yes, it’s nice that our families are close and my kids are the same age as his kids, but more than anything him being my captain and being next to him on Wednesday when he lifted that Premier League trophy, there is nothing that makes me happier really.”