Jordan Henderson said he never takes representing England ‘for granted’ as he posted on social media for the first time since being booed.
The former Liverpool captain was loudly booed by the home fans at Wembley during the 1-0 friendly win over Australia on Friday night.
Henderson, who captained England in that friendly, left the Anfield club this summer and joined Al Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League.
In his first post since the reaction from the crowd, the 35-year-old said: “Always an honour to represent my country, never take it for granted. Extra special to lead the team out at Wembley.”
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate came out and strongly defended Henderson following the boos.
He said: “I really don’t understand it – he is a player, I think it is 79 caps now for England.
“His commitment and what he has done for England is exceptional.
“His role on and off the pitch is phenomenally important.
“So yeah some people decided to boo but I really don’t understand what that is for.
“We have players in England shirts. Come on, we play Italy here Tuesday. Let’s get behind this team.
“I know we weren’t at our best tonight but that is due to a lot of changes made and gave the players out there a really difficult task.”
Asked if Henderson’s backing of Saudi Arabia’s 2034 World Cup bid was a factor, Southgate said: “What has that got to do with supporting a guy wearing an England shirt?
“I don’t really know where we’re heading with everything.
“I’m hugely impressed with the impeccable values and decisions that everybody in our country is making then. I don’t understand it.
“I know what has created it and why it has happened but it defies logic to me that you would give a player who is putting his heart and soul into playing for England. How is that going to help him or the team?”
The new talkSPORT match centre
Keep up-to-date with all the latest football fixtures, results and standings in our new match centre.