MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Back row L-R: goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip, Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho', Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah. Front row L-R: Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, captain Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Sadio Mane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Did you tell the gaffer?” – Jordan Henderson can’t believe “mad” 2019 CL final stat

If we told you that Liverpool’s XI in the 2019 Champions League final only ever started that one game together, would you believe us?

June 1, 2019, in the sweltering Madrid heat at the Wanda Metropolitano, saw Jurgen Klopp name his starting XI as:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino

It’s a team that got the job done in a match “that wasn’t great in terms of a spectacle,” in the words of Jordan Henderson, lifting the first piece of silverware under Klopp.

It’s an iconic XI, one that all Liverpool supporters could list as the one that won both the Champions League and a year later the Premier League.

It also seems like a very familiar lineup. But, it wasn’t.

Somehow it was the only time that XI ever started a game together – a statistic we had to double and triple check, then ask LFC’s official statistician to check again for us.

And it’s a fact that Henderson struggled to believe, too.

“What, in that final? You’re joking, wow. What a stat that is!” Henderson exclaimed when told the stat in an exclusive interview with This Is Anfield.

“So they never played together before or after?

“That’s mad, that. Did you tell the gaffer that?” he laughs.

“I’m going to tell him if you never told him. I’m going to tell him when I see him!”

01 June 2019, Spain, Madrid: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lifts the UEFA Champions League Trophy after winning the UEFA†Champions League final soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

It is hard to believe that other than the final in Madrid, Klopp never started that XI in another match, as each of the 11 sit inside the manager’s 12 most-used players at the club.

They were all in the squad together from 2018/19 to 2021/22 and for much of their time together, it was an obvious selection choice for the manager.

But for one reason or another, injury being at the top of that list, it was a one-time deal.

It puts an entirely different meaning on history-makers.

READ MORE: Jordan Henderson on Liverpool highs, lows, doubts and glory