Liverpool icon, Steven Gerrard, has played his final game at Anfield. He leaves the club after nearly 28 years of loyal service. The 34 year old began his career at the age of seven, when Liverpool scouts enrolled him in the youth team. He went through the club’s development training and went on to become its defining player. Gerrard has spent his loyal years at Anfield, only now choosing to leave the club. The midfielder will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, and make the move to LA Galaxy.
Loyalty is a much-undervalued concept in today’s football. With transfer fees in their millions and the potential for bigger salaries, players are quick to move on. You need only look at Gerrard’s team-mate Raheem Sterling. At only 20 years of age, he is already keen to leave the club that found and developed him. With the prospect of bigger games, more trophies, and more money, there’s little to keep players loyal. That’s why Steven Gerrard’s story is so inspiring in the world of modern football.
Steven Gerrard Says Farewell To Anfield
Gerrard certainly could have won more trophies had he made the move elsewhere. Although Liverpool have always been a dominant force in the Premier League, others have had more success. The Reds regularly find themselves fighting it out for fourth or fifth place. Battling against Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and now Manchester City, it’s a tough league. The medals keep getting further and further away. The opportunity to play in the elite Champion’s League is also crucial here. Liverpool qualifies for the competition far less than it would like.
Arguably, however, every victory is all the more sweet as a result. Gerrard was the commanding figure that took Liverpool to victory in the 2005 Champions League Final. They came from 3-0 down against AC Milan and stormed to victory on penalties. Gerrard was influential in this game and picked his team up to turn things around. It was undoubtedly the highlight of his career so far. It’s moments like this that reward loyalty and developed Gerrard’s relationship with the club.
The midfielder did have one wavering moment back in 2005. He told his manager he wanted to leave and turned down a contract worth £100,000 a week. After fans had begun burning shirts with his name on the back, he realised how much the club meant to him. Despite three subsequent attempts by Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho to sign him, his loyalty never wavered again.
Gerrard shouldered the pressure of leading his team, often single-handedly. Perhaps that’s one thing he loved most. He is often compared to Frank Lampard. Yet, many forget that Lampard had the solid backbone of Petr Cech, John Terry and a host of world-class strikers. Gerrard, on the other hand, proved himself time and time again all on his own. He carried Liverpool and stepped up in every important game.
The iconic player will now finish his career at LA Galaxy. He joins his old team-mate Robbie Keane, who has warned him this is not a holiday! Gerrard isn’t finished with the trophies just yet. Expect him to light up the west coast of America, just like he lit up Anfield.