Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says receiving the Premier League trophy from Reds legend Sir Kenny Dalglish “makes it even more special”.
There will be a special ceremony on the Kop after Liverpool’s game against Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday.
It is the first time the Merseyside club have won the league since 1990, when Dalglish was their manager.
“He’s an iconic figure at this football club, a huge person who we all love,” Henderson told BBC Breakfast.
Henderson was signed for Liverpool from Sunderland in 2011 by Dalglish during his second spell in charge of the club.
Liverpool legend Dalglish is one of the most decorated figures in football and iconic on Merseyside for his trophy-laden career as a player and then a manager, as well as leading the club through the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.
England midfielder Henderson, 30, has been one of the club’s star performers this season. He made 30 league appearances, scoring four goals, before being ruled out for the final four matches of the campaign with a knee injury suffered against Brighton on 8 July.
Henderson – who has won the league title after lifting the 2019 Champions League, as well as this season’s Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup – says he uses his critics to motivate himself.
“Ultimately, you will get criticised, whether that’s in the past, now or in the future as a footballer,” he said.
“I feel I’ve learned to use it in the right way – as extra motivation and as energy. So, yes, in a way that’s helped me in my career.”
He added: “I experienced it a little bit at Sunderland, but when you come to a club like Liverpool, the expectation is so high.
“I’d just turned 21, so it was more difficult when I was younger, but the only way you learn to cope is with experience.
“Having gone through different experiences throughout my life and in my career – people telling me I was not good enough or not big enough or not fast enough or whatever it may be for Sunderland, Liverpool, England – I’ve always had questions marks.
“As you get older, you just use it in a different way. Now I look for the criticism because it gives me the extra motivation to prove people wrong.”
Henderson also called on Reds fans to stay home and “look forward” to celebrating the title together in the future instead of gathering at Anfield.
Thousands of supporters gathered at the stadium and on the city’s waterfront on consecutive days after Liverpool secured the title.
“I know how difficult it must be as they’ve waited for so long for this club to win the league and it’s huge,” said Henderson.
“Unfortunately they can’t gather outside the stadium for the health and safety of the country, and we need to protect the NHS staff who have been working tirelessly over the past few months.”
Source: BBC Sports