The former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from professional football, ending his 19-year playing career.
Gerrard, aged 36, made 710 appearances for Liverpool and joined Major League Soccer (MLS), side LA Galaxy in 2015. He decided to call time on his career after his LA Galaxy side were knocked out of the MLS play-offs earlier this month.
The support he has received on social media has been incredible., he has been called a “true legend, where do you start when it comes to summing up a career like Stevie’s”
At international level, Gerrard won 114 caps for England and is his country’s fourth most capped player behind Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham.
Despite representing his country at six major tournaments, the midfielder, like the rest of the ‘golden generation’ had to endure disappointment on the international stage. However, as many people can see, he was never phased by the failures, if anything they made him stronger.
Gerrard was the inspiration behind Liverpool’s famous Champions League Final victory in Istanbul in 2005 which saw him score the first goal as they recovered from being 3-0 down to Italian giants Milan to lift the trophy after winning on penalties.
While the Champions League is surely Gerrard’s career high, he also helped his boyhood club to win two FA Cups, three League Cups and a UEFA Super Cup.
He is the only player ever to score in an FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League final.
Gerrard stated that he has had an incredible career and that he is thankful for spending his career with Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
Was an honour to watch Steven Gerrard's career unfold. He leaves behind so many memories that will never fade. His legend will only grow.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) November 24, 2016
“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,” he said in a statement.
He would be given the captain’s armband from Gerard Houllier back in 2003 where he would become the clubs longest serving captain.
Gerrard’s International debut came against Ukraine back in 2000 and he was able to net his first England goal in the famous 5-1 victory against Germany the following year.
He also received captaincy for the Three Lions from head coach at the time, Fabio Capello. He wore the armband for the three major tournaments, the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and the 2012 European Championships.
After announcing he would leave LA Galaxy, he was strongly linked with a job in management with MK Dons or even a move to Melbourne Victory in the Australian League. In an interview on BT Sport, Gerrard has admitted he did speak to MK Dons about becoming their next boss, but decided it was too soon to take his first jump into management.
VIDEO: Shortened version of a video I made for his charity game couple years back. pic.twitter.com/CdLPUPlR4l
— Steven (@Ste_Halliwell11) November 24, 2016
Gary Lineker, the former England striker described Gerrard as “a giant of our game” and “a Liverpool and England great” on Twitter.
Pepe Reina, the former Liverpool goalkeeper who was part of the Champions League-winning team in 2005, tweeted Gerrard was “always an example on and off the pitch” while Phil Thompson, the former Liverpool defender, tweeted “Steven Gerrard Thank You”.