Steven Gerrard is one of the greatest footballers of his generation who always seemed to play his best in the biggest moments.
Gerrard’s career at Liverpool was full of iconic moments and he will look to create a few more at the ICONS of Football 2017 Tournament at The Belfry from 23rd-25th June.
The Liverpool-born midfielder was the face of Anfield during his playing days and he has the stats and silverware to cement himself as one of the all-time greats. His achievements in the game earned him respect from managers, players and fans alike for his tireless effort, eye for a lethal cross-field pass, his deadly touch and his ability to hit missile-guided shots towards goal from seemingly half way across the pitch.
Gerrard made his first-team debut for Liverpool in 1998 although, at the time, the youngster experienced a constant shuffle of position – a curse of his undoubted talent to play in almost any position – and he was unable to cement a place in his preferred centre-midfield position. In the 2000-01 season, Gerrard helped lead Liverpool to a treble when they took home the FA Cup, League Cup and the UEFA Cup.
That season saw Gerrard finally show his goal scoring potential as the midfielder netted 10 goals in 50 matches whilst being named the PFA Young Player of the Year. He was given the Anfield captaincy in 2003 and in 2005 helped lead Liverpool to their first Champions League trophy in twenty years.
In the 2005 Champions League final, Gerrard helped orchestrate one of the greatest comebacks in football history – a night that has been rightfully dubbed the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’. The club was in a 3-0 pit against A.C. Milan at half time and seemingly looked all-but-out of the game. Following a rousing team talk (by none-other than Gerrard himself), what happened in the second half has gone down in footballing legend.
The Skipper, almost single-handedly pulling his teammates back from the brink, drilled a header into the back of the net to help spark the comeback. Liverpool would score two more goals to level the match and an incredible, Jerzy Dudek-inspired penalty shoot-out helped the club overcome almost impossible odds to triumph. It was Liverpool’s first Champions League trophy in 20 years and for his part in the shocking comeback, Gerrard was named Man of the Match. Gerrard’s loyalty and effort for Liverpool endeared him not just to the Kop, but to neutral football fans alike.
Gerrard continued his development and established himself as a superstar in the next few years. In 2009, the Liverpool captain was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year. Over his tenure with the club the midfielder won two FA Cups, three English League Cups and the Champions League among his many accolades.
One of the qualities that endeared Gerrard to the Kop faithful was that he had opportunities to join clubs throughout, clubs where winning would have been easier, but Gerrard showed his loyalty to Liverpool every time. It was more important to win one at Anfield than a dozen somewhere else for Gerrard. As a result of his long tenure with Liverpool, Gerrard went on to become the longest serving captain in the club’s history and became one of three players to achieve more than 500 appearances with the same football club.
Gerrard’s leadership qualities were obvious so he served on several occasions over his international career as the captain of the England national team squad. Though England weren’t able to claim any silverware during his playing career, he was a driving force as the Three Lions reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 Euro’s – he was named in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament as a result.
The midfielder finished his England career with 114 caps, making him the fourth most capped player in country’s history.
The former Liverpool captain will be representing England once again this June at the ICONS of Football 2017 Tournament as a group of England Icons will face off against the Rest of the World’s great former footballers. Gerrard will try help England get the victory at the tournament to add a bit more silverware to his impressive collection.