A Tribute To Captain Fantastic The life and journey of steven gerrard

Steven Gerrard celebrating after scoring a goal

Steven George Gerrard was born on 30 May 1980.. He spent majority of his career playing for Premier League club Liverpool as a centre Midfield, with most of that time as their captain. After 19 years of Club football and 13 years of captaincy, the captain fantastic finaly takes a leave

Spending 17 seasons at Anfield, Gerrard made his way to Liverpool in 1998 and cementing his place in the first team in 2000, and succeeding Sami Hyypiä as team captain in 2003.

Club Career

Beginnings, Cup treble and club captaincy (1998–2004)

Gerrard made his Liverpool first-team debut on 29 November 1998 in a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers as a last-minute substitute for Vegard Heggem. He made thirteen appearances in his debut season, filling in for injured captain Jamie Redknapp in centre-midfield.

He also occasionally played on the right wing, but he scarcely contributed in the short on-pitch time he received, due to nervousness affecting his play. He was named PFA Young Player of the Year by his peers.In the following season, he would go on to win both the FA Charity Shield and UEFA Super Cup. In 2003 ,he took the Title of Captian, replacing Sami Hyypiä.

Champions League and FA Cup success (2004–2007)

Liverpool had a number of injuries early in the 2004–05 season, and a foot injury suffered in a September league match against Manchester United shelved Gerrard until late November. He returned to score in the last five minutes of a Champions League group stage match against Olympiacos to secure Liverpool's advancement to the knockout round. However, Gerrard netted an own goal during the 2005 League Cup final on 27 February, which proved decisive in Liverpool's 3–2 loss to Chelsea.

Gerrard celebrating his goal against West Ham United.

During a six-minute stretch in the second half of the 2005 Champions League final against A.C. Milan, Liverpool came back from a three-goal deficit to tie the match at 3–3 after extra time, with Gerrard scoring one of the goals. Liverpool's third goal was gained as a penalty from a foul awarded to Liverpool when Gennaro Gattuso was judged to have pulled down Gerrard in Milan's penalty box. Gerrard did not participate in the penalty shootout (he was the designated fifth penalty taker) which Liverpool won 3–2 as they claimed their first Champions League trophy in twenty years.

Dubbed the Miracle of Istanbul, the match is widely regarded as one of the greatest finals in the competition's history, and Gerrard was lauded as the catalyst for the second half comeback. Gerrard was named the Man of the Match, and later received the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award.

Continued success and stardom (2007–2012)

Gerrard made his 300th Premier League appearance on 13 April 2008 in a match against Blackburn Rovers, scoring the opening goal in a game which Liverpool won 3–1, and finished the season with twenty-one goals in all competitions, surpassing his total from the 2006–07 season. Gerrard was selected for the PFA Team of the Year and he was also one of the nominees or the PFA Player of the Year, alongside teammate Fernando Torres.

Gerrard needed to undergo groin surgery at the beginning of the 2008–09 season, but the problem was not serious and he quickly returned to training. He scored what appeared to be his hundredth career Liverpool goal against Stoke City on 20 September, but it was disallowed after Dirk Kuyt was ruled offside.[61] He achieved the milestone eleven days later in a 3–1 Champions League group stage win over PSV.

Gerrard went on to help Liverpool to reach their first cup final in 6 years, and their first at Wembley Stadium in 18 years, as Liverpool beat Manchester City 3–2 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Gerrard scored a penalty in both legs to send Liverpool to the 2012 Football League Cup Final against Cardiff City on 26 February 2012, which Liverpool won on penalties. On his 400th Premier League appearance for Liverpool, Gerrard scored a hat-trick to give Liverpool a 3–0 victory over rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby on 13 March 2012

Final Seasons with Liverpool (2012–2015)

A quote by Steven Gerrard

On 18 August 2012, Gerrard played his 250th match as Liverpool captain He scored his first Premier League goal of the season on 23 September, opening the scoring in a 2–1 defeat against Manchester United

On 15 July 2013, Gerrard signed a contract extension with Liverpool On 3 August 2013, Liverpool played Olympiacos, against whom Gerrard scored arguably his most celebrated goal, at Anfield for Gerrard's charity fund-raising testimonial match. Liverpool won the match 2–0, in a game where past players such as Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler made appearances

Gerrard after a goal miss.

October, Gerrard scored in a 3–1 win over Crystal Palace, becoming Liverpool's first ever player to score in 15 successive league campaigns, overtaking the record previously set by Billy Liddell. Also in October 2013, Gerrard became the longest-serving Liverpool captain, 10 years after his appointment by Gerard Houllier on 15 October 2013, breaking the previous record held by Alex Raisbeck, who captained Liverpool from 1899 to 1909. On 19 October 2013, Gerrard scored his 100th Premier League goal, a penalty against Newcastle United in a 2–2 draw. On 22 March, Gerrard was sent off 38 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute in a match against Manchester United for stamping on Ander Herrera. Gerrard made his 500th league appearance for Liverpool in a goalless draw against West Brom on 25 April; he became only the third player ever to achieve 500 or more Premier League appearances for one club, after Ryan Giggs and former teammate Jamie Carragher. His final appearance for Liverpool at Anfield was on 16 May against Crystal Palace in a 1–3 loss. His final appearance for the club was eight days later in a 6–1 defeat at Stoke although he scored in the game

Retirement and Goodbyee

On 7 January 2015, the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer announced the signing of Gerrard to an 18-month Designated Player contract, reportedly worth $9 million. He joined the team in July, following the end of the 2014–15 Premier League season.

On 11 July, Gerrard made his debut for the club in a mid-season friendly match against Club América, playing the first 45 minutes of the match in which Galaxy won 2–1. Three days later, Gerrard made his competitive debut for LA, coming on at half time for Ignacio Maganto in a 1–0 loss at Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup quarter-finals. He made his MLS debut on 17 July, scoring once, while assisting one goal of his former Liverpool teammate Robbie Keane's hat-trick, during a 5–2 defeat of fellow Californians the San Jose Earthquakes at the StubHub Center. That month, Gerrard was one of the 22 players to be named to the 2015 MLS All-Star Game roster. He made 13 appearances across the regular season, scoring one more goal, the team's last of a 3–2 home win over FC Dallas on 27 September. After the Galaxy were eliminated from the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs by Seattle Sounders FC, Gerrard announced that he may retire in 2016, saying that he found unexpected difficulty in the long journeys to away matches in the United States, and the diverse altitude and weather across the country.

Gerrard played his final game for Galaxy on 6 November 2016 in a MLS Cup Playoff penalty-shootout loss to Colorado Rapids. Gerrard took and scored Los Angeles' first spot-kick and scored but the club were eliminated after Giovanni dos Santos and Ashley Cole failed to convert. Nine days later, he stated he would be leaving on the expiration of his contract. He then had an interview for the vacant managerial post at League One club Milton Keynes Dons, but said that he was not ready for the job. Gerrard announced his retirement from professional football on 24 November, at age 36.

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