Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson felt a team meeting in the days before their Champions League final victory helped ensure the

players were ready for what lay ahead.

With the disappointment of losing to Real Madrid 12 months ago compounded by being pipped by a point to a first Premier League title since 1990 by Manchester City, the England international was leaving nothing to chance.

He gathered the squad on Wednesday and they talked through the eventualities and shared previous experiences – both positive and negative.

It meant Henderson and his

team-mates were prepared for what came late in the game at the Wanda Metropolitano when Tottenham put them under pressure.

“I think we would have regretted

it if we didn’t have it with the experiences we’d had,” he said of the meeting.

“I thought it was important to speak as a group before a final, it was an important conversation as a group. A few of us said a few things and hopefully it helped.

“Just about the game, really. What we could experience in the game and how we could deal with those different situations, and obviously use the experiences we have had.

“We’ve come a long way as a team and to have so many knock-backs

and to finally get over the line is an amazing feeling, so special, and one we will remember forever.

“It was nice to know we have come back from so many disappointments and finally won a big trophy.

“Hopefully we can use this to

win more in the future. It gives us confidence to know we can win the Champions League and together we can move forward and hopefully win more trophies as well.”

The Liverpool captain revealed he had a flashback on the morning

of the final when a friend sent him

a picture.

It was of Henderson, as a youngster, kissing a trophy. Just over 12 hours later he was doing it again, only on a much bigger stage.

“My dream as a kid was to win trophies,” he added.

“My best friend sent me a picture in the morning of me kissing a trophy when I was about 10, so that gave me even more motivation.

“The trophy was gold and it was quite big and I’m kissing it. I’m

about 10, 11. That gave me a lot of motivation.

“When the final whistle goes it’s an amazing feeling to know we have done it, and then to lift the trophy was a special feeling, one that we will never forget.”

Henderson joined the ranks of Emlyn Hughes, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard in lifting the European Cup for the club.

But at the moment, he insists has not thought how significant it is to have matched those greats.

“Probably it will be

[significant] after I finish football, but there is still a long way to go,” he added.

“I am 28, I want to achieve a lot, keep improving as a player, I want the team to keep improving. I want to win more, that is all my focus is on now.

“That’s the idea, we hope this can give us a lot of confidence. The big trophies, the big nights.

“I want to enjoy this moment but also when we come back pre-season we will be focused on looking in the future.”

Liverpool’s move to sign James Milner (above) from Manchester City was ridiculed in some quarters, but it has paid dividends.

He took a pay cut to do so because he wanted a more regular role, having become frustrated at being left out for big matches.

Ironic, then, that he was on the bench for the Champions League final but he played an important part as a second-half substitute, using his vast experience to get the side over the line when Tottenham turned up the pressure.

However, with a Champions League winners’ medal to add to his collection, the 33-year-old has had the last laugh.

“Liverpool has a great history and when I signed for the club I was desperate to add trophies, as this club expects to win trophies and it has an amazing history, but we want to create our own history,” he said.

“We have started that and put

a trophy on the board. When I was

at City and we won the first FA Cup, that was massive for us and that

gave us the belief and the winning mentality that we can do it and hopefully this will be the same.

“We will enjoy it for as long as we can but we will come back pre-season and go again.

“I think it will be nice going to Melwood seeing number six [of their European Cups] there. It feels amazing. Any time you win a trophy is really special.

“Obviously after last year ([losing to Real Madrid in the final], getting 97 points in the league and not getting it over the line, this was great heart from the boys.

“We did not play well but a cup final is all about getting the result. It shows how much we have come on as a team and that is the effort and experience of getting to those finals and those disappointments that we saw the job through.

“You have to enjoy these moments. You play so many games and have disappointments throughout your career, you can be lucky if you win one trophy.

“You have to enjoy it as it does not come around very often.”

Milner, as the experienced pro, has seen plenty in the squad for him to predict there are more trophies to come. Lifitng that first trophy, Milner says, is the hardest part of creating a winning mentality.

“The first trophy is always the hardest one to win for a group of players and hopefully that will help us,” he added.

“You can see the improvement over the last few years since the manager has come in and seen how the team has improved.

“That has been something we have done well this year when we have not played well but still got the results.”

The midfielder was also pleased

for Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, who scored the opening

goal with a penalty – which

would have been Milner’s job had he started – after being forced off

with injury 30 minutes into last season’s final.

The successful penalty in this year’s final, Milner argues, will bring a sense of redemption for Salah, who left the pitch in tears in Kiev.

“After last year and what happened was tough for him and tough for all of us,” he said.

“His numbers do not look so good this season but look at him isolated and he is a victim of his own success.

“But Sadio [Mane] has been incredible and also Bobby [Roberto Firmino] coming back from injury, but Divock [Origi] as well.

“Those three guys, he [Salah] pushes them in training and his finishing is ridiculous as you have seen and he keeps coming up with important goals.

“You need a good squad to be successful and it is a young squad, which is the most pleasing thing.”