Steven Gerrard hangs up his boots
Capped 114 times for England
Won 10 major trophies with Liverpool
Left MLS club LA Galaxy last week
Steven Gerrard, one of the English Premier League’s greatest home-grown players, has retired from football after a 19-year career.
Gerrard made 114 appearances for England and played 710 games for his boyhood club Liverpool before spending two seasons in the United States.
Only Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham boast more England caps than Gerrard, who led his country 38 times and was captain at three major tournaments. His 504 Premier League appearances rank Gerrard 10th since its inception in 1992.
He joined Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy in 2015, and announced his decision to leave the club last week.
“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career,” Gerrard said in a statement on his Instagram page.
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“I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
“As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, and when I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998 I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years.”
It was rumored the 36-year-old might become manager of English third-tier club MK Dons, but he later admitted to BT Sport that the vacancy had come “too soon” for him.
Gerrard graduated from the Liverpool youth system to make his debut for the Reds at the tender age of 18. He went on to achieve legendary status with fans, becoming the club’s longest-serving captain and scoring 186 goals, the fifth highest in the club’s history – many of them spectacular long-range efforts.
In his 2000-01 breakthrough season, Gerrard helped Liverpool to a treble – winning the FA Cup, the League Cup, and Europe’s second-tier UEFA Cup.
Among his 10 major trophies, inspiring Liverpool to recover from a 3-0 deficit against AC Milan and win the 2005 Champions League ranks most highly. Gerrard ignited a second-half comeback before his side won a penalty shootout in Istanbul.
However, he never won a Premier League title. Despite being one of the dominant forces in English football, Liverpool hasn’t been crowned domestic champion since 1990.
Arguably Gerrard’s best opportunity to get his hands on the trophy came in his penultimate season with the Reds, but an infamous slip against Chelsea in April 2014 gifted the London side a goal that dashed Liverpool’s dream – a moment he confesses has haunted him since.
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… And country
With England, Gerrard was part of a so-called “Golden Generation” of players managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson, including the likes of then Liverpool teammate Michael Owen, Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.
His first international goal came in 2001, in a 5-1 win over Germany during a World Cup qualifier that England fans still recall fondly, and he was a midfield stalwart until his final appearance in 2014.
Yet despite promising so much, Gerrard’s England era has been remembered as one tinged with disappointment – the Three Lions have not progressed past the quarterfinals of any major competition since 1996.
At the 2006 World Cup, Gerrard was one of three players to miss a penalty in a quarterfinal exit to Portugal – and England exited at the first-round stage in Brazil eight years later under his captaincy.
It was often lamented that Gerrard and Frank Lampard – two of the finest midfielders in English footballing history – never managed to gel as a midfield pairing.
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In the twilight of his career, Gerrard joined LA Galaxy after losing his regular starting role and not being offered a player-coach role at Anfield.
He scored five goals in 34 appearances, but the Galaxy could not advance to the Western Conference final in either year – having been MLS Cup champion for the fifth time in 2014.
Gerrard told CNN he enjoyed the “peace and quiet” of life in California, though he returned to Merseyside between his two seasons with Galaxy to train with Liverpool under the new management of Jurgen Klopp.
Gerrard told BT Sport Thursday that he intends to pursue a coaching career, and Klopp said “the door is always open for him.”
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“It is clear that one day in the future there will be something to announce, but until then there is nothing to say,” the German added at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Sunderland.
“I will give him all the help I can if he wants, that is 100% sure.”