Steven George Gerrard is a Liverpool and England legend. Born on 30th May 1980, Gerrard a product of the Liverpool Youth Academy, went on to become one of the best players to have ever played for the Merseyside club. With 186 goals in 710 games, Gerrard was heralded by Pele and Zidane as the best footballer in the world due to the sheer versatility he possessed. He could play in a whole range of positions including holding midfielder to an attacking midfielder, a right-back or even as a right-winger. With 8 major trophies and several individual awards to his name, let’s see how Gerrard achieved this.
Graduating from the youth academy Gerrard made his debut in the 1998 season and played a total of 13 times for the club that season. From the next season, he became a regular starter for the squad with him partnering Jamie Redknapp in midfield. However, this success came at a cost as Gerrard had to face injury concerns due to excessive playing during his teenage years.
He then went on to make a major impression the next season. He scored 10 goals in the 50 starts he made. Gerrard also won 3 major trophies this season with the FA Cup, League Cup and the UEFA Cup. He was even awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year. The next year he won two more trophies winning both the FA Charity Shield and the UEFA Super Cup. His leadership qualities didn’t go unnoticed by the Liverpool manager as he was then made the new Liverpool captain in October 2003. The following season, however, was a tumultuous one for both Gerrard and Liverpool. Going trophyless this season, Gerrard was reportedly unhappy at Liverpool and wanted to leave for Chelsea. However, the arrival of new manager Rafa Benitez made Gerrard say no to the London giants.
The 2004-05 season was probably Gerrard’s most important and best season of his Liverpool career. After scoring an own goal which contributed to Liverpool’s loss to Chelsea in the League Cup final, Gerrard was so determined that nothing of that sort would happen when they came to face Milan in the Champions League final. The rest is history on how Liverpool went on to win the match on penalties after being 3-0 down in the first half. Gerrard was made Man of the Match and awarded the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year. The next season Gerrard helped Liverpool win the FA Cup beating West Ham scoring twice to send the game to extra time and then winning on penalties. Liverpool made the Champions League final to face AC Milan again. However, this time Gerrard and Liverpool ended up on the losing side.
The Curtain Call
After several star-studded seasons, the most crucial season since 04-05 was the 2013-14 season for Gerrard. The only trophy missing in Gerrard’s cabinet was a Premier League title and Liverpool were right in the hunt for one. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez were in the form of their lives and it looked all but certain that Liverpool were going to win their first Premier League title. Coming to face Chelsea they were top of the table, however, a defeat would mean that the league title would not be in Liverpool’s hands and would depend on how Manchester City fared. This match against Chelsea provided one of the most defining moments of the season where Gerrard slipped while receiving a pass which resulted in Chelsea forward Demba Ba scoring what proved to be the all important goal. A 2-0 defeat meant Liverpool’s season was more or less over. Crystal Palace put the nail in the coffin for Liverpool’s title hopes when they went from 3-0 down to equalising the score at 3-3. Even though being a nominee for the PFA Player of the Year, Gerrard said it was the worst three months of his life.
Gerrard left the club the next season. His last performance came against Stoke where he scored in an eventual 6-1 defeat for Liverpool.
The legacy of Gerrard can go on for pages and pages. The Liverpool midfielder was certainly one of the best players of his era. Both a Liverpool and England legend, Gerrard’s impact in the football world will be remembered by generations to come.