England midfielder Jordan Henderson hailed his former team mate and current coach Steven Gerrard as a role model and said he was a major reason why the 33-year-old moved to the Saudi Pro League.
Henderson joined Al-Ettifaq from Liverpool on a three-year deal in July to link up with Gerrard who played most of his career at Anfield, winning several trophies including the Champions League.
“Of course I have played with the coach many years before, so I definitely have a good relationship with him,” Henderson told the club’s media on X.
“Steven was one of the most important reasons I joined Al-Ettifaq. Our professional relationship has continued here. We always talk about what we can do and can develop in the team, not only on the pitch but off it as well.
“He is a role model for many players including me. what he did at Liverpool was amazing,” Henderson added.
Al-Ettifaq face a difficult trip away from home next Friday against Al-Nassr, the second-place team led by the competition’s top scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, at the beginning of the second half of the campaign.
Gerrard won his first match in the league, defeating Al-Nassr 2-1 on the opening day of the season. However, the club are winless in their last seven matches in all competitions and are eighth in the standings on 24 points from 17 games.