Steven Gerrard: A Farewell to a Legend
Football lost one of its greats yesterday when Steven Gerrard announced his retirement.
There is no doubt that Gerrard was one of the most talented players to ever grace the game and throughout his long career he’s had moments that have cemented his place in footballing folklore.
Therefore, its only fitting that we have a glance back at some of these moments of brilliance and reminisce at the quality, character and leadership of Steven Gerrard.
Goal in Germany
Steven Gerrard first showed his unbelievable quality to the world, when playing for his country in 2001, against Germany in a World Cup Qualifier. Gerrard scored a glorious volley in the first half to put England 2-1 up in the match. The Three Lions went on to win the game 5-1, with Gerrard putting in a mature performance, despite being so young at the time. To this day, that game is known as one of England’s greatest ever wins, and Gerrard was an integral part of that victory. From an early age, Stevie G showed that he was to be an important part of the England team for many years to come.
Liverpool’s Champions League campaign during the 2004/2005 season will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time, and Steven Gerrard was a huge part of their success. His late goal against Olympiakos in December 2004 took Liverpool to the last 16, after they had been minutes from crashing out in the group stages. Considering Liverpool would go on to claim the trophy, Gerrard’s wonderful strike on that cold night at Anfield proved to be extremely important. Even Stevie G himself claimed that it had been his most important goal for his beloved club.
‘That Night’ in Istanbul
The first thing that comes into any football fan’s mind when they think of Steven Gerrard is Liverpool’s incredible 2005 Champions League win over AC Milan in Istanbul. The Reds came back from a 3-0 half time deficit, to equalise and take it to extra time, with Gerrard scoring a glorious header to kick start the comeback. Gerrard produced a trademark captain’s performance, and guided Liverpool to their fifth European cup after Jerzy Dudek saved Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty. Gerrard will always be remembered as the key figure in surely the greatest come back in Champions League history.
FA Cup Heroics
Gerrard’s display in the 2006 FA Cup Final against West Ham was quite simply world class. In a game where Liverpool didn’t play to their potential at all, the Reds captain scored two incredible goals, one of which was a 35-yard volley in the last minute. Gerrard’s heroics helped take the game to a penalty shoot out, where Liverpool claimed victory. These two goals meant that Gerrard was the only player to score in FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals, an incredible feat that only heightens his credentials as one of football’s greatest ever players.
Steven Gerrard’s 120 goals in 504 games for Liverpool confirms that he is one of the greatest players to ever grace the Anfield turf. He was won many honours with the club, including 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 1 Community Shield, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup and of course, 1 Champions League. Liverpool fans see Gerrard as a walking legend and his time at the club will never be forgotten. He was also a great servant for his country, scoring 21 goals in 114 appearances, making him England’s third most capped outfield player of all time, behind Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. He will forever be remembered as one of England’s most loyal servants and greatest ever players. Gerrard is also one of the few Englishman to be recognised as an amazing player on the world stage. He was presented with the Ballon d’Or Bronze award after Liverpool’s Champions League heroics in 2005, and the following year received the PFA Players Player of the Year award.
Despite the abundance of talent in football over the years, Steven Gerrard’s loyalty and achievements will ensure that his name will be near top of that list for years to come.