Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted that Steven Gerrard could call time on his England career after the World Cup in Brazil. Perhaps no surprise, but it’s never nice to say goodbye to a true great and ambassador to the English game.
Steven Gerrard to date has 107 caps for England, and it’s likely that after the World Cup he will surpass the 110 cap mark that only Peter Shilton and David Beckham have currently done, overtaking World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore in the process.
Despite that, the Liverpool man will look back on his England career and see the catalogue of highs and lows. After being touted part of one of the greatest England generations ever, if not the greatest – the fact that national side hasn't come close to a major final has been a big disappointed for all involved, underlined by missing out on qualification for Euro 2008.
Gerrard more than likely won’t be the only player looking to retire after the World Cup with Lampard sitting on 102 caps at 35, Micahel Carrick on 31 caps at 32 and Ashley Cole sitting on 105 caps at 32. The golden generation is well and truly being wiped out slowly, disappointing for truly some of the greatest players this country has ever had.
Steven Gerrard has been involved in some huge games for the country and himself, I take a look at the best 5 personal moments for the player; including, well, you don’t need me to tell you.
5) Sven picks Gerrard as skipper for first time against Sweden as Beckham and Owen unavailable.
A 1-0 loss to Sweden in an international friendly was hardly a milestone in our national team’s history, but due to the missing captain David Beckham and deputy Michael Owen also unavailable, the midfielder was picked as captain. Ahead the more experienced players in the side, as such was his character in and around the team.
4) Steven Gerrard scores against Switzerland in Euro 2004, for his first goal in a major tournament
Steven Gerrard scored the 3rd goal in a 3-0 win, despite being the lesser side for the majority of the game. The headlines were took by an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney who bagged a brace and became the competitions youngest ever scorer, despite that Gerrard put England over the line with what will be seen as a milestone in the England captain’s history.
3) Steven Gerrard screamer vs Trinidad and Tobago for his first World Cup finals goal
The midfielder scored with an unbelievable strike for England against tournament minnows Trinidad and Tobago. Despite being considered a right footed player by many, the midfielder cut inside and through a left footed blow to the ball that raced into the top corner leaving the keeper with absolutely no chance. The goal is considered one of the best in his long catalogue of illustrious goals.
2) Steven Gerrard leads England out in the opening game of a World Cup finals and scores within 5 minutes.
Captain John Terry was stripped of the band due to a long-running controversial issue, which saw defensive partner Rio Ferdinand become captain on a permanent basis, only to then get injured for the first game.
Steven Gerrard stepped up to the plate, and instantly made an impact scoring England’s only goal of the match against a very bright USA side. An howler from Robert Green cost England the 3 vital points, but none-the-less Gerrard was the outstanding performer.
1) Gerrard first England goal, an incredible strike on the edge of the box to put England 2-1 up, who as we know went on to win 5-1 in Munich.
Considered by many one of their favourite games in football, it was an ideal stage for a fresh faced Steven Gerrard burst onto the scene with an unstoppable strike that sent England on their way in one of their most famous victories in history.
The game was a huge part of England qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, and picked by many as the starting point for the ‘golden generation’.
I wish Steven Gerrard the best for the rest of his career, despite being the talking point of negativity - no doubt in my mind, he has been one of the shining lights of the last 12 years in football.
image: © ruairadhG