Legendary Brazilian right-back Cafu has claimed that he’d pick Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson over Luka Modric.
Henderson and Modric are set to come face-to-face again as Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League next month. In anticipation of the tie, TNT Sports Brazil asked Cafu to rank the players of both squads against each other.
Cafu began by surprisingly picking Madrid’s Courtois over countryman Alisson. He then went for Trent Alexander-Arnold over Dani Carvajal and Eder Militao over Ibrahima Konate.
Virgil van Dijk saw off Antonio Rudiger before Andy Robertson got the nod over Ferland Mendy. Liverpool continued to look ahead in this race as the World Cup-winning captain picked Fabinho instead of Eduardo Camavinga.
Then came the debateable one. Faced with the choice of choosing Henderson or Modric, a smile creeped across Cafu’s face. “Henderson, without a shadows of a doubt,” he said with a hint of a chuckle. Fair dos!
Thiago’s inclusion instead of Toni Kroos meant that the 53-year-old picked all of Liverpool’s misfiring midfield. He obviously hasn’t watched them this season! Mohamed Salah, Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema made up the rest of Cafu’s combined XI, with Federico Valverde, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez losing out.
Henderson mixing it with the best
No doubt to many reading this, this will be a ridiculous comparison. Modric is a Ballon d’Or winner, five-time Champions League winner and one of the finest midfielders of his, or perhaps any generation.
Henderson, rightly or wrongly, tends to carry the can for any defeat Liverpool have. For all his quality, he’s widely seen as the definition of a ‘workmanlike’ midfielder.
But in reality, Hendo has been operating right at the top of the game for a long time now. Like it or not, he’s been the heartbeat of one of the best teams Europe has seen for some time. That doesn’t happen if you’re not a quality player.
Not many would put him ahead of Modric, but you can bet that Jurgen Klopp would. In the ‘gegenpressing’ style that Klopp became renowned for, the Croatian wouldn’t be a natural fit.
He’s also a player who’s sportsmanship tends to fail him. Consistently lauded as a humble character, this hasn’t come across in his clashes with Liverpool. Last seen mocking Salah for failing to win the Champions League final last year, we’d take Henderson’s leadership over that kind of pettiness every day of the week.
We don’t know Cafu’s reasons for picking the Liverpool captain over Madrid’s evergreen maestro. Perhaps it has something to do with Croatia knocking Brazil out of the World Cup in December. Whatever the reason though, we agree!