Steven Gerrard - Player Profile

Liverpool's Iconic Cult Hero

Personal information 
Full name: Steven George Gerrard
Date of birth: 30 May 1980
Age: 34
Place of birth: Whiston, Merseyside, England
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Club information
Current team: Liverpool
Number: 8

Youth career
1987–1998: Liverpool
Senior career
1998– Liverpool 697 Appearances, 182 goals
National team
1999–2000 England U21 4 Appearances, 1 goal
2000–2014 England 114 Appearances, 21 goals

It's been confirmed that Steven Gerrard will move to the LA Galaxy this summer after agreeing to join the franchise as its third designated player. The Liverpool captain's deal at Anfield expires in June, and after already announcing that the 2014-15 campaign would be his last, Gerrard has stated that he will keep giving his all for the Reds, just as he always has.

Gerrard had other options in front of him, too, and chose his American switch despite the fact he very well could have carried on in England or undoubtedly drawn attention from other European suitors. But Liverpool's loss is America's gain in this scenario—more specifically, a gain for Los Angeles. Gerrard will soon begin a new chapter in his career, joining former Liverpool team-mate Robbie Keane at LA Galaxy and hoping to bring the franchise its fourth MLS Cup in the space of five seasons. Playing time is not something he'll have to worry about in Major League Soccer. With Landon Donovan retired, the Galaxy are eager for a high-profile difference-maker who can link up with Robbie Keane. They'll also be among the favourites to win the 2015 title, and the prospect of silverware had at least something to do with attracting Gerrard to southern California. The Galaxy will provide a chance for the former England captain to go out on a high. Even if the Reds had gotten themselves back in the title picture next season, or made a run in one of the cups, he might have felt a reduced role in the team would have diminished his enjoyment of any success.

Once in a generation a player comes along to whom nothing seems impossible. Luckily for Liverpool that man wears the No.8 shirt at Anfield. Steven Gerrard will forever be a Liverpool icon. Of that there is no doubt. Liverpool’s inspirational captain is one of the most complete footballers in the world. Power, pace, touch and a never-say-die attitude, Stevie G has it all, and rarely have these attributes been more apparent than when he skippered the Reds to 2005 Champions League glory in Istanbul. The man who almost single-handedly guided the Reds to Champions League glory in 2005 deserves his place in the rich pantheon of Anfield greats. With Liverpool trailing 3-0 at half-time to AC Milan at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, it was Gerrard's will and desire which lifted his team from potential worldwide embarrassment to a night of legendary greatness. Istanbul was merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of occasions when the midfielder brought about such a change of fortunes for Liverpool. His goal against West Ham United in the 2006 FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the winning strike against Olympiacos en route to Istanbul also stand as iconic moments in the history of the club. The midfielder has collected almost every club medal during 15 years in the first team and in 2006 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. The one piece of silverware that eludes him is the Premier League title. He also had the honour of captaining England before announcing his retirement from international football on July 21, 2014. However, times have changed. After his infamous slip against Chelsea, allowing Demba Ba to open the scoring in a victory for the Blues that would ultimately give Manchester City fresh impetus in the Premier League title race, the writing was on the wall.

The Reds captain will bring the curtain down on a glittering Anfield career that has spanned nearly 28 years and included 10 trophies, as well as 697 appearances and 182 goals to date since joining the club's youth system aged eight. The 34-year-old admits it is with a heavy heart he will depart Liverpool, describing the decision as the 'toughest of his life', but has chosen to make it now to avoid speculation about his future. Until then, the No.8 insists he will continue to concentrate all his efforts on helping Brendan Rodgers' side achieve both domestic and European success. Explaining his decision to leave the Anfield faithful, Gerrard said: "This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time. I am making the announcement now so that the manager and the team are not distracted by stories or speculation about my future. Liverpool Football Club has been such a huge part of all our lives for so long and saying goodbye is going to be difficult, but I feel it's something that's in the best interests of all involved, including my family and the club itself.

(Prior to agreeing terms with LA Galaxy) “I'm going to carry on playing and although I can't confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won't be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool - that is something I could never contemplate. My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over. I can't thank Brendan, the owners and everyone at the club enough for how they've handled this and I am leaving on great terms. Also, I would like to thank my teammates and all the staff for their help and continued support. It is a very special place to be part of. It is my sincere hope and wish that one day I can return to serve Liverpool again, in whatever capacity best helps the club. One point that is important to make is that from now until the last kick of the last game of the season, I will be as fully committed to the team as I ever have been and giving everything I have to help Liverpool win games. My final message is for the people who make Liverpool Football Club the greatest in the world - the supporters. It has been a privilege to represent you, as a player and as captain. I have cherished every second of it and it is my sincere wish to finish this season and my Liverpool career on a high."

Steven Gerrard is a great leader, strong in tackle, can hit the ball at ferocious speed, has good vision, scores great goals, makes brilliant passes and has it all, simply. There is no doubt that Stevie G ranks among the elite of Liverpool FC, right at the top with the likes of Billy Liddell and Kenny Dalglish. Given his age, some will continue to criticise Major League Soccer as little more than a lucrative pension plan for those flying in, but Gerrard can prove he still has a lot to offer and make the league more entertaining than ever. Whether Liverpool can replace Gerrard remains to be seen, but the player has made the wisest choice possible for the club he loves and himself.