Liverpool legend Jordan Henderson says he didn’t go to Saudi Arabia for the money.
Having played for Liverpool since 2011, Jordan Henderson has been one of the club’s most loyal players. He helped the Reds win the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in 2018-19 and the Premier League (PL) in 2019-20. Last season, he made 42 appearances and 23 starts. Although he was criticized for a slight dip in form, his presence at Liverpool was still strong.
It was during this time that he was linked with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittifaq. At the time, Al Ittifaq reportedly offered nearly four times Henderson’s salary, with a two-year contract with an option for a one-year extension.스포츠토토
Henderson was not initially in favor of going to Saudi Arabia. The Liverpool captain had two years left on his contract, and given his club career and position in the England national team, he was worried about heading to the Middle Eastern country. But the offer from a team backed by Saudi Arabia’s oil money was enough to sway him.
On July 27, Henderson headed to Saudi Arabia for a three-year contract that will reportedly pay him £700,000 a week. The decision came as a shock to many fans, as he had been with Liverpool for a long time.
Henderson has been outspoken in his support of LGBT people in the past. The Premier League has been very vocal about human rights issues both on and off the field. However, Saudi Arabia is a conservative country that strongly criminalizes homosexuality, with the death penalty.
Henderson spoke out about his decision to travel to Saudi Arabia. British media outlet The Athletic published an interview with Henderson on May 5 (KST). Henderson told the publication, “People think it’s about money, but money has never been a factor in my life and career. Please don’t get me wrong,” Henderson said, adding that he didn’t make the move for money.
Henderson also said, “I’m not saying this for people to understand. I’ve talked to a lot of different people I trust about this. I know there will be a lot of criticism and negativity around, but it’s hard for me to accept.”
His decision to go to Saudi Arabia also included an offer from Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. Gerrard, who spent 17 years at Liverpool as a player, took over at Al Ittifaq in July as the first England manager in Saudi Arabia. Henderson has been dubbed the “second Gerrard” because of the similarities between his longtime Liverpool career and his captaincy.
Gerrard expressed his desire to reunite with Henderson at the time. Henderson said: “I didn’t talk to Gerrard about money. All I discussed with him was football. In fact, he said he didn’t want to talk about money. All we talked about was achieving what we can, leading the club and what we can do together for the league,” he said, drawing a line under money.
A number of European stars have recently followed the oil money to the Middle East. Jordan Henderson’s club, Al Ittifaq, has hosted Mousa Dembele and Giorginio Wijnaldum. Al Ittifaq is currently in fifth place in the Saudi Professional League with three wins, one draw, and one loss.