England manager Gareth Southgate paid tribute to Jordan Henderson and his “winning mentality” as the Liverpool midfielder closes in on a 50th international cap.
Henderson first featured for England’s senior side in 2010, starting alongside Steven Gerrard in a 2-1 friendly defeat to France.
Although he had to wait over a year for his next cap, the Liverpool midfielder steadily became a regular in England squads and featured prominently as the Three Lions reached the World Cup semi-finals last year.
Henderson has often divided opinion among fans at domestic and international level, but Southgate is among his admirers.
The 28-year-old will win his 50th cap if he features against Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday and the England boss commended him for the achievement.
— England (@England) March 24, 2019
“He’s such an important player for us, with his winning mentality,” said Southgate.
“He makes others player well – he’s a leader.”
Henderson acknowledged the looming landmark was a source of pride, though he insisted it is not something he will be dwelling on.
“I’m proud to play for my country, but the type of person I am, I’ll not really think about it too much,” he said.
“Maybe I’ll think about it when I finish my career, but at the moment I just want to concentrate on doing the best for my team.
“When I finish my career or my England career, then I can look back and decide if it was good or not.”
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