As he prepared with Liverpool ahead of the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Kiev, Henderson took a phone call from England manager Gareth Southgate.
And it was not particularly welcome information.
The Kop skipper was told that leading the Three Lions out at the World Cup would be Harry Kane, a player who does not even captain his club.
Although Tottenham striker Kane, 24, was informed of the decision in March, Henderson did find out until the day it was due to be announced by FA chiefs.
Henderson, 27, who has 38 caps, took the news in good grace and knows regardless, he has an important part to play for Southgate in Russia.
Still it was curious he should discover the news in the tense build-up to the Champions League final, rather than maybe be told the week before.
Henderson, whose Reds side went on to lose 3-1 to Real, said: “The manager rang me on the Tuesday in the week leading up to the final. I wasn’t thinking about it because of the final and that is where my focus was.
“When the gaffer told me, I was really pleased for Harry and he is a fantastic player. I just got on with it.
“Whether or not I am captain doesn’t matter, there are plenty of other leaders.
“Gareth is big on that and we don’t want to put too much pressure on Harry. That is important for Harry and for the group.
“The final was very tough. It was a difficult night, a difficult moment but when you reflect, we have to look at the positives and how well we did in the Champions League campaign.
“Football moves on quickly, we move forward and the World Cup means I can get ready for that.”
Although the midfielder has spent the season with a perfect view of Mo Salah causing absolute mayhem for Liverpool, Henderson believes Kane is the best finisher he has ever played with.
He added: “They are totally different players, totally different.
“Harry’s an out-and-out striker. He’s probably got the best finishing from a player I have ever seen — left foot, right foot, from around the box — he is special.
“Like I say, he is the best I’ve played with in terms of finishing.
“And Mo is Mo. He is a totally different type, plays on the wing, likes to dribble, and is a fantastic player.
“I hope he is fit, he deserves to play in the World Cup.
“He has been outstanding this season, one of the best players in world football and I hope he plays in the finals — I’m sure he will. But hopefully, he won’t do too well.”
Kane, Stoke keeper Jack Butland and Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard have been the trio of England players who have claimed the Three Lions could win the World Cup.
Henderson, set to start against Costa Rica at Leeds tomorrow night, is slightly more cautious.
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He said: “You have got to go in with the mentality that we can go all the way because we are good enough as a team.
“I think that is the right attitude to have. There have been a lot of upsets in sport — look at when Leicester won the Premier League. Not a lot of the people at the start of the season would have said they could have done that.
“And that is just one instance. You have got to have belief in the group all the time and believe you can reach the heights.”
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