Jordan Henderson has revealed that he took Roy Keane's advice on board regarding swapping shirts after Liverpool's defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League, insisting he never considered asking for Lionel Messi's jersey.
Liverpool suffered a 3-0 loss at Camp Nou in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final last season, with a Messi double and a Luis Suarez effort earning the home side a comfortable win.
Messi was in inspired form on the night, and marked a superb all-round performance when he fired an unstoppable 25-yard free-kick past Alisson late in the game.
Henderson was introduced to the action as an early substitute after Naby Keita was forced off with an injury, and was powerless to stop Barca taking command of the tie.
However, Liverpool produced a stunning second-leg display to book a place in the final, securing a 4-0 victory at Anfield thanks to two goals each from Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi, before going on to lift the trophy after a showpiece win over Tottenham.
Looking back on the first leg, Henderson says he refused to swap shirts with Messi because he didn't want to seem "in awe" of the Argentine superstar, which he was warned about by former boss Roy Keane during his time at Sunderland.
“As it turned out, I came on quite early as Naby Keïta got injured," the Reds captain told the Daily Mail.
“It was the first time I had been on a pitch with Lionel Messi.
“You don’t think to yourself, ‘Oh my God, that’s him’, but there’s no question he plays the game differently to when you see him on TV. He’s so fast.
“Thinking about his free-kick now, I still can’t believe he scored it. I actually thought he was going to take it short.
“I’ve told you how good I think Alisson is, but Messi put that shot in the one area Ali couldn’t protect. The whip, the pace, the precision – it was absolutely perfect.
“Did I think about asking for his shirt? No. I’ve never done it.
“Roy Keane told me when I was at Sunderland that if you ask for someone’s shirt, it looks like you are in awe of them.”
Henderson went on to admit that he did end up taking Suarez's jersey, but only out of respect to an old team-mate who had once played alongside him at Anfield.
He added: “As it turned out, I came home with Luis Suarez’s shirt.
“Luis is a good lad and he gave me it as a gesture as we had played together for Liverpool. I don’t know what he’s done with mine!”