Jordan Henderson: 'Liverpool must learn from' Champions League final loss
KIEV, Ukraine -- Jordan Henderson has said Liverpool's Champions League final defeat was the "worst feeling" he has ever had in his career, but remained confident that Jurgen Klopp's squad will continue moving forward.
Liverpool, in their first European Cup final for over a decade, were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid on Saturday night as Zinedine Zidane's team secured their third successive triumph in the competition.
While Henderson conceded the result in the Ukrainian capital will sting for quite some time, the Liverpool captain is hopeful that the club's six-year wait for a trophy will soon be over.
"[I'm] obviously devastated," he told reporters. "It is the worst feeling I have had in football. It will hurt for a while but you have to move on in football. The World Cup is coming up. Things move quickly. You have to focus on going forward.
"Overall we have to be proud of the achievement getting here. We have done brilliantly. Madrid were fantastic on the night and deserved to win. We have to give credit to them.
"It is hard for me talking now, saying we must learn from the experience, but that is what we have to do over the next days and weeks.
"We have a young group, a fantastic group of players, who deserve more. We did fantastically well to get here and now we need to keep growing as a team to be successful in future.
"We are moving in the right direction. Only good teams get to the Champions League final so we have to make sure this is not the last final we are in, that we are in more finals and win trophies.
"We have good players here and we will strengthen. There are more coming in. It is hard to be positive but come preseason we will be ready to fight again.
"I believe in this team. I believe in this manager. I believe we are going in the right direction. It is so difficult to stand here now and say that but that is the truth. It is how I feel. We have to make it happen."
Loris Karius was in tears at the final whistle in Kiev after he committed two errors that directly led to Real goals in the second half. But before those mistakes, Liverpool lost Mohamed Salah inside the opening 30 minutes after injuring his shoulder in a duel with Sergio Ramos.
Dejan Lovren feels losing the star forward, who had scored 44 goals for Liverpool in his first season at the club, was the turning point in the final.
"This feeling is difficult to describe," the defender told reporters. "We are devastated, it's heartbreaking. This first goal was a big surprise, to be honest. Nobody expected it. We tried to come back and we did it. They scored one of the best goals that I will ever see in my life.
"It was also a big point when Mo was injured -- it was a big change for us. Mo is one of the most important players for us and it's not the same when you don't have him on the pitch.
"I saw straight away on the face of Mo. He couldn't play anymore, but he tried. The mindset is totally different when you have him on the pitch.
"It was difficult to accept that we, again, had such an unlucky moment with so many injuries. I cannot believe we had so many injuries this season."
Lovren added that although the campaign had ended in disappointment Liverpool had lots to be proud of.
"I'm proud of the team, I'm proud of the players who were even injured," he said. "They gave everything. I'm proud of the fans who travelled such a long way to support us.
"I promise that next year we will come back even stronger because I feel this team is growing every day.
"We beat the best teams in Europe. We beat Man City, who had a fantastic season in the Premier League. We showed again that Real Madrid respected us in some moments -- they were defending quite deep.
"We need to find the positives. The manager is always positive. At the end, we will grow and I believe in this team that we can do it again next year."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.