Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted that he would have been in among travelling fans had he not been playing for the club in the FA Cup last night.
Gerrard recently announced that he wouldn’t be renewing his contract with the Reds at the end of the season, but his passion for Liverpool was clear as he bagged a brace against AFC Wimbledon which put his team into the next round of the competition.
“If I wasn't here playing for this team, I would probably be in the stands watching it, so I know what it means to every single supporter,” he told the BBC.
“That's why I always try to give my best. I know that's not possible in every single game. But whether I'm playing AC Milan in the Champions League or Wimbledon, I'll always give it my best.”
“I always enjoy the FA Cup. I grew up loving the competition. This will be my last time playing in it, so I'll try to make the most of it and try to go all the way.”
The FA Cup presents Liverpool with arguably their best chance to win a trophy this season and if they went all the way to the final, Gerrard’s last match for the club could well be at Wembley in front of a packed crowd.
The Reds are also one of the favourites to win the Europa League, a competition which could present the team with a way into the Champions League for next season.
However, the beauty of European football on a Thursday night can’t compare with the traditional atmosphere of an English cup tie and Gerrard has to be praised for remaining professional despite his recent announcement.
He’s always been popular with Reds fans for the loyalty he’s shown the club when he could have jumped ship years ago and his comments show how close he feels to a group of supporters who will have to get used to a side without him available next season.
If Liverpool are to go all the way in the FA Cup this season, Gerrard is going to have a huge say in the process.