Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced that he has retired, ending a 19-year playing career. Some Major League Soccer fans might dispute that, saying that Gerrard actually retired in 2015 when he left his boyhood side to move to the LA Galaxy.
But Gerrard’s career was never going to defined but what he did in MLS though. His status as one of Liverpool’s all-time greats was determined by what he did during his 710 appearances on Merseyside, where he won nine trophies, including THAT European Cup final in Istanbul.
Gerrard is also England’s fourth most-capped player with 114 appearances and captained the side at three of the six major tournaments he played at.
“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career,” said Gerrard.
“I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
“I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool.”
Gerrard was made Liverpool captain by Gerard Houllier in 2003, and led the side to Champions League success in 2005, scoring the Reds’ first goal as they recovered from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties in the Istanbul final.
“I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul,” he added.
“I feel privileged to have won 114 England caps and to have had the honour of captaining my country.”
While the Champions League success is surely the highlight of Gerrard’s Liverpool career, he also helped his boyhood club win two FA Cups, three League Cups, a Uefa Cup and a Uefa Super Cup.
“I was lucky to play alongside some great players and under some fantastic managers during my time at Anfield and would like to thank each and every one of them, as well as all of the backroom staff at the club throughout my time there for the fantastic support they showed me,” he added.
Where does Gerrard stand in the pantheon of Liverpool greats? Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson says only former Scotland forward Kenny Dalglish was better.
“I think he is Liverpool’s second best player behind Kenny Dalglish. There were 10 or 12 years where Steven, in any outfield position for Liverpool, would have been the best player in the team,” said Lawrenson.
“A one-club man who was the scorer of great goals, a great passer and a player who drove the team on. Take Gerrard and Dalglish out of any side and it would be completely different.”
Where do you rate Stevie G? Best Liverpool player ever?