Adam Lallana says he felt as if he'd scored himself after his great friend Jordan Henderson netted his World Cup goal against Senegal.
The pair have played together for both Liverpool and England, so there was no one more pleased for Henderson when the Reds captain put England on the way to a 3-0 win and a quarter-final meeting with holders France on Saturday.
Lallana said, “It was a great performance and I was off my feet when Jordan scored, high-fiving Jason Steele who, like Jordan, is from the northeast. The lads gave me a bit of stick for that!
“When he scored, for me it felt a bit like scoring myself. At 1am in the morning after the game I was tossing and turning because of the adrenalin. Obviously not as big of course as playing but it gave me a lot of excitement.”
Henderson didn’t start either of England’s first two games but he came in for the 3-0 win over Wales and kept his place against the African Cup of Nations champions.
“Some people maybe questioned his involvement but not me, he belongs in the XI,” added Lallana. “The leadership he brings to the group is something he does better than anyone, the goals are the icing on the cake.”
Henderson has formed a productive partnership with Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, who supplied the cross for Henderson’s goal and played a big part in the second scored by Harry Kane.
“For me, that’s three big men in the middle of the park who can do everything – they can run, they can tackle, they can attack but they can also do the horrible stuff as well,” added Lallana. “With Declan Rice, the way they complement each other I think it will make it hard for Gareth [Southgate] to change them for the France game.
“I’m not sure I liked that little bromance between Hendo and Jude after the first goal too much!
“But how they celebrated showed that real connection between them. Those different connections you get in a squad give the group so much energy and can definitely make a difference.
“For a 19-year-old, Jude is incredible, but he would have seen when he first came into the England camp how Jordan acts, how he prepares and how professional he is.”
Lallana revealed that head coach Roberto De Zerbi and his coaching staff have adopted England in Qatar in the absence of Italy and joined the players to watch the Senegal match at the start of Albion’s week-long training camp in Dubai.
“Watching the game with them was great fun. Roberto and the management team came down to watch it with us, obviously in Italy’s absence they are supporting England.
“The camp is the perfect time to get away otherwise we would have had 3-4 weeks back at base without a game. It also gives everyone the chance to get to know Roberto and his staff on a social level, watching the game together, playing paddle tennis – a bit of golf – but we’re training hard and there’s a game at the end of the camp against Aston Villa which everyone will look forward to.”