Henderson hopeful Liverpool fans welcome back ‘close friend’ Suarez

Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez celebrate a goal for Liverpool, January 2014

Jordan Henderson is hopeful the Liverpool supporters will welcome Luis Suarez back to Anfield on Wednesday night as they take on Atletico Madrid.

Suarez is returning to his former hunting ground for only the second time. When he came to Merseyside with Barcelona in 2019, he was met with an uninviting reception from the home crowd. His antics against them in the Champions League hadn’t gone down well.

The Reds captain is not expecting a repeat when Atletico come to town. He’s wanting some appreciation to be directed towards Suarez for his efforts for the club.

Henderson said: “I think when Luis was here he was phenomenal for a number of years. He was outstanding and I think the fans know and the fans will appreciate that and what he did at this football club.

“I don’t think Luis will be too bothered but after the game it would be nice.

“Maybe not during the game but after the game it would be nice for him to get a good reception from the crowd.”

Speaking in the pre-match build-up, Henderson also revealed he and his former team-mate are still in regular contact.

“I’m quite close to him and speak to him now and again. Not that often to be honest but now and again, to see how he’s doing and how his family are doing and things like that but not all the time.

“He’s a world-class player and causes a lot of problems for defences. He’s always in and around the goal and if he gets a chance, I’m sure he’ll take it.

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“We’ve got to be on our guard with him, not only him. They’ve got world class players all over but Luis is certainly a top striker and will cause any team problems.

“He provides a lot of challenges. I think we all know he is a top player for a long time.

“He produced so many good moments at Liverpool and I learnt a lot from him when he was here.”

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Henderson spent three seasons alongside the striker in the Liverpool side during his early days with the club. And Suarez was someone the 31-year-old learnt a significant amount from.

“I took a lot, I think he helped us a lot when he was at Liverpool,” he said. “Mentality side of it, how he was in training. He always wanted to win.

“He played through things that he played through in terms of pain barriers and things like that and just wanted to get out, play football and do his best for the team.

“I took a lot from him when he was here. I think he helped me massively. Made me grow in confidence as a player. I had a good relationship off the pitch but on it as well.”

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