Former England international and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard retires after having played 862 games for both club and country.
(Image credit: The Guardian)
“Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football,” said the 36-year-old in an official statement. “I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.”
Gerrard – nicknamed ‘Stevie G’ by the Reds supporters – made his official debut for Liverpool at age 18 – 1998/99 season – in a Premier League encounter against Blackburn Rovers when he came on as a late substitute for Vegard Heggem on November 29. During his maiden season with the Anfield side, he made 13 appearances overall, but he would have to wait until the following campaign to score his first goal.
The 2000/01 season saw Gerrard get his hands on his first set of silverware with the club that included the Football League Cup, the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. At the start of the 2004/05, Stevie G was forced to the bench for several months due to a sustained foot injury, however when he came back he went on to lead Liverpool all the way to the Champions League final where they faced Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan. The 2004/05 Champions League final is now hailed as one of the best – if not the very best – final the competition has ever seen, and Gerrard proved to be a major factor in Liverpool’s famous comeback that night in Istanbul.
Liverpool were trailing 0-3 against the Italian side at half-time, however Stevie G scored a sublime header in the 54th minute which turned the fortunes around in their favour, as only minutes later two more goals struck AC Milan’s goal, which saw the scoreboard read a remarkable 3-3. After a goalless round of extra-time, penalties went on to decide the fate of the match and hand Liverpool their long-awaited 5th Champions League trophy, mainly thanks to Gerrard’s strike after half-time which helped uplift the spirits of the team.
After that glorious moment in 2005 a few minor accolades followed in the subsequent seasons, however he never managed to lift the Premier League title during his 17 years with the Reds. The closest he ever got to winning the domestic league was in 2001/02, 2008/09 and then again in 2013/14, however the trophy eventually went to Arsenal, Manchester United and Man City respectively.
Steven Gerrard retires having never won the Premier League, with his biggest achievement being the 2004/05 Champions League trophy.
Overall, Gerrard has won nine major trophies over the course of his Liverpool career, which saw him make a staggering 710 appearances across all competitions and score 186 goals in the process. Only two other players have appeared in more games for the Anfield side, with one of them being his former teammate: Jamie Carragher (737) and Ian Callaghan (857). With his 186 strikes, Gerrard places 5th on Liverpool’s all-time goalscorers’ list, behind the likes of Billy Liddell (228), Gordon Hodgson (241), Roger Hunt (286) and Ian Rush (346).
On the international stage, Gerrard has represented England between 2000 and 2014, appearing in three EURO Championships (2000, 2004 and 2012) and three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014). At the time of announcing his retirement from international duty in July 2014, Gerrard has racked up 114 appearances and scored 21 goals during his 14 years with the Three Lions.
After deciding to quit Liverpool at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, the Whiston native opted to sign for MLS side LA Galaxy, joining his former teammate Robbie Keane with whom he shared a dressing room at Anfield for the first half of 2008/09 season. During his 18 month spell in American, Gerrard has played a total of 38 games and has found the back of the net on five occasions.
This campaign – under Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool are shaping up to be serious title contenders – 2nd on the table with 27 points – and if they happen to lift the trophy in May, it would be quite ironic that they would have won it without Gerrard by their side.
The Reds 2/7 (1.182) will next play Sunderland 16/1 (17.00) at Anfield this weekend in a match that should be a routine victory, considering their impeccable form at the moment. A draw between the two stands at 7/1 (8.00), but we’re more than confident Liverpool will be able to seal the three points. If you’re a true Red, then go ahead and place a wager on the Liverpool winning the Premier League on the outright market 11/4 (3.75).
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