Liverpool were officially crowned as the best team on the planet on Saturday as they beat a spirited Flamengo side 1-0 after extra time to win the FIFA Club World Cup final.
Roberto Firmino came off the bench to score a stoppage time winner in the semi-final win over Monterrey and it was the Brazilian who scored the decisive goal in the final too.
A defence-splitting pass from Jordan Henderson released Sadio Mane and he squared the ball across the penalty area to Firmino, who kept his cool and found the back of the net in style.
The triumph in Qatar caps off a wonderful 2019 for Liverpool, which saw them overtake bitter rivals Manchester United as the most successful club in English football history.
Jurgen Klopp has built a special squad at Anfield, and captain Henderson’s trophy record compared to United’s last few skippers sums up the gap between the clubs in the past two years.
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Henderson finally getting hands on silverware
Henderson replaced the iconic Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain in June 2015 and people have been questioning his footballing and leadership abilities ever since.
Many fans (including some Liverpool supporters) didn’t think he had what it took to wear the armband but he’s continued to work hard and has finally seen the rewards this year.
The 29-year-old lifted the Champions League in June after the Reds’ 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid and that was followed up by the UEFA Super Cup victory in August.
At the Club World Cup, Henderson filled in at centre-back in the semi-final and put in a good performance in the final as Liverpool earned a hard-fought win against Flamengo.
Henderson compared to Man Utd’s recent captains
So, in the last seven months, Henderson and Liverpool have won three trophies and that’s a stark contrast to Man United, who have been trophy-less for about two-and-a-half years.
The Red Devils’ last trophies came under Jose Mourinho in the 2016-17 season in the form of the EFL Cup and the Europa League in May 2017.
The club’s all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney was captain at the time and the Old Trafford outfit have had three permanent captains since the legendary Englishman left.
Under the captaincy of Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia and current skipper Ashley Young, United haven’t won a single trophy, meanwhile, Henderson alone has won three at Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuild does slowly seem to be taking shape, however 2020 is likely to produce another huge moment for Liverpool – their first-ever Premier League title.