This year one of my childhood soccer hero got retired. As the year being wrapped up, I couldn’t help myself but to watch his games over and over again. What an amazing guy he was! Liverpool FC will face nostalgic moments in its absence as we do his fans.
Gerrard made his international debut for the England national football team in 2000, and represented his country at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, as well as the 2006, 2010 and2014 FIFA World Cups – captaining the team at the latter two tournaments. He was named as the permanent England captain shortly before UEFA Euro 2012, where he was named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. Gerrard became the sixth player to win 100 caps for England in 2012, and is currently third in the country’s all time appearance list. He ended his international career in July 2014, having won 114 caps.
A versatile and well-rounded player who is regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, Gerrard is capable of playing in a number of positions. A hardworking box-to-box player, he is usually deployed as a central midfielder, but he has also been used as a second striker, a holding midfielder, an attacking midfielder, a right back, and a right winger.
Gerrard began his professional career as a wide midfielder on the right, although he did not excel in this position as he had a tendency to commit careless fouls in his youth. Nevertheless, Liverpool retained their faith in the youngster, and he was later shifted to a defensive midfield position as he matured, where he excelled as a ball-winner rather than as a playmaker. He continued to evolve tactically, coming into his own in a box-to-box central midfield role, which allowed him to be effective both offensively and defensively. Under Benítez, he was also used in a supporting and creative role, as an attacking midfielder behind the strikers, or even as a deep-lying playmaker.
Regarded to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Gerrard came second to Kenny Dalglish in the “100 Players Who Shook The Kop”, a 2008 Liverpool fan poll, and first in 2013. Zinedine Zidane said in 2009 that he considered Gerrard to be the best footballer in the world. In 2005, Gerrard was honoured as the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or Bronze Award. He has also been named in the PFA Team of the Year a record eight times, the UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA World XI three times, and was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009. He is, to date, the only footballer ever to have scored a goal in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a UEFA Champions League Final.