The former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from professional football, ending his 19-year playing career.
Gerrard, 36, played 710 times for the Reds and was Liverpool’s longest-ever serving captain, scoring 186 goals, winning eight major trophies. But the Englishman joined MLS side LA Galaxy in 2015 to gain a new chapter in his life.
The midfielder thanked his supporters and clubs and said in a statement: “Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football.
“I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
“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.”
The midfielder who led Liverpool to their incredible comeback victory in the 2005 Champions League final after trailing 3-0 to AC Milan in Istanbul at half-time before pulling back to 3-3 in the second period and winning the match on penalties also mentioned his highlights of glorious Reds career.
“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career,” Gerrard said.
“I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul.”
The retired international is currently England’s fourth most-capped player with 114 appearances and captained the side at three of the six major tournaments he played at.
“At an international level, I feel privileged to have won 114 England caps and to have had the honour of captaining my country. I will always look back with great pride at every time I pulled on the England shirt,” he added.
Gerrard had been linked to a job in management with MK Dons after announcing he would leave LA Galaxy but said on Wednesday the opportunity came “too soon” for him and he will take now take his time to assess his future.
“I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game, in whatever capacity that may be. I am currently taking my time to consider a number of options and will make an announcement with regards to the next stage of my career very soon.”
Photo by Steve, Reading