Most football players would do anything to lift a trophy as captain of their club - but not James Milner.
Liverpool’s vice-skipper currently wears the armband in Jordan Henderson’s absence, the latter out injured for the foreseeable future.
And following the Reds’ Europa League semi-final win over Villarreal on Thursday night, Milner could well be handed the trophy if they triumph over holders Sevilla.
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However, the selfless Milner isn’t like most players, and he instead wishes for teammate Henderson to be back in time to captain Liverpool in Basel on May 18.
He said, per the Mirror: “It’s just great to be through.
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“Hopefully Hendo will have a chance of being fit for the final. If he is then he will captain the team in the final.
“We’d love him to be back for it. If he’s not it’s always a great honour for me to captain this football club.”
Liverpool have already tasted defeat in one cup final this season - the Capital One Cup - and will look to avoid the same pain later this month.
The motivation will be, of course, to win their first European trophy since 2005 and kickstart a new era under manager Jurgen Klopp.
“It’s been a long road to get there,” Milner continued.
“You play a lot of games in the Europa. I think back to the frozen pitches in the group stages.
“We’ve beaten a lot of good teams along the way and to win it we’re going to have to beat another top team.
“We have given ourselves another opportunity to win a trophy. It will be our second final of the season and hopefully we can finish the season with a piece of silverware.”
Milner also believes Liverpool have done well considering how little time they’ve had to work with Klopp, but ultimately wants a trophy.
“A season of transition is difficult,” he added. “To get to finals would be okay but it would be nice to win silverware.
“This is a club used to winning trophies, it expects success and that’s why we’re all here.
“Major finals is where this club is used to being and hopefully we can deliver more success.”
One thing is for sure: the future looks bright at Anfield. Since the turn of the new year, Klopp has transformed Liverpool into a relentless attacking outfit and implemented his famous ‘gegenpressing’ philosophy.
And it was evident against Villarreal. The Reds harassed their opponents from start to finish and pounced upon their mistakes, claiming three simple goals.
Victory in the Europa League final would be a fine way to cap an excellent start to Klopp’s reign, especially so if it means tackling the Champions League next campaign.
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