Steven Gerrard


Born:               Whiston (nearby Liverpool), 30.5. 1980
Signed:            1997
Games:            439 (11.5.08)
Honours:          League Cup 2000/01, 2002/03
                       PFA Young Player of the Year  2001
                       FA Cup 2000/01, 2005/06
                       UEFA Cup 2000/01
                       Charity Shield 2001/02, 2005/06
                       UEFA Super Cup 2001/02, 2004/05
                       Champions League 2004/05
                       UEFA Champions' League Most Valuable Player 2004/05
                       PFA Player of the Year 2006
                       MBE 2006
                       FWA Footballer of the Year 2009


Early career
Gerrard started out playing for local team Whiston Juniors. He was noticed by Liverpool's scouts aged just 8, and joined the Reds as a schoolboy in 1987. He played relatively few games, with late growth spurts restricting him to only 20 games between the ages of 14 and 16.

Aged 14, Gerrard had trials with various clubs, including Manchester United. In his autobiography he claimed that this was "to pressure Liverpool into giving me a YTS contract." During this time he had an accident involving a rusty garden fork and could have lost his toe.

Gerrard signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on 5 November 1997. He was paid £700 a week

1998–99: Debut season
Gerrard made his debut for the Liverpool first team on 29 November 1998 as a second-half substitute for Vegard Heggem against Blackburn. His first start came in the UEFA Cup against Celta Vigo. Due to an injury to Jamie Redknapp, Gerrard went on to play 13 games for Liverpool that season.

1999–00: First team regular
The 1999–00 season saw manager Gérard Houllier start with Gerrard partnering Jamie Redknapp in central midfield. After being in the starting line-up for the first six games, Gerrard was relegated to the substitutes' bench for the local derby against Everton.

Gerrard replaced Robbie Fowler after 66 minutes but went on to receive the first red card of his career for a foul on Everton's Kevin Campbell in the 90th minute. Later that season, Gerrard scored his first senior goal in a 4–1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

His back was causing him regular problems. At the time, many journalists [who?] surmised that fans would never see Gerrard complete anything close to a full season. However, manager Gerard Houllier took the practical approach and sought specialist help. After visits to the renowned sports consultant Müller-Wohlfarth, it was diagnosed that Gerrard's pains were a result of accelerated growth in a short period of time.

After treatment he and Liverpool F.C. were assured that these problems would not recur. Gerrard then suffered from groin problems. He was said to need four operations for this correction. He then saw Liverpool F.C. doctors and kept his faith with Liverpool. He was sent to a Frenchman for his treatment by Gérard Houllier.

He worked hard to recover and soon his groin injuries were no longer a problem. It had also been claimed that because of a 3 inch growth in his height during one year that the growth in his body caused many of the problems. In his early career it was said by some that it was impossible for him to play two games a week.

2000–01: The "treble" season
2000–01 brought Gerrard his first trophy successes: he put his injury problems behind him and made 50 first team appearances, scoring 10 goals, as Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup. On 31 March, 2000, Gerrard scored a cracking 25-yard goal, the first in a 2-0 Anfield victory over Manchester United. This was voted by fans as Liverpool's best ever Premiership goal.

In the UEFA Cup final against Alavés, Gerrard scored his first major final goal as Liverpool won 5–4. At the end of the season Gerrard was named PFA Young Player of the Year.

2001–02: Growing influence
Following the 2001 "treble" season, Gerrard became increasingly influential in the Liverpool side as he became more experienced and his injury problems waned. He played an important part in Liverpool's 2001–02 season which resulted in the club finishing second in the Premier League with their best points tally in over a decade.

During the course of this season, Houllier suffered serious health problems which resulted in him having to undergo major heart surgery. At this point Liverpool looked like becoming a force in English Football once again, but after Houllier's illness the team began to go backwards. The team's performance became increasingly erratic and reliant on Gerrard and Michael Owen to win matches with flashes of inspiration.

2002–03: League cup winner
Gerrard suffered a period of poor form during this time, culminating in his substitution during a Champions League match with Basle at half time with Liverpool 3–0 down. After the game Gerrard was the subject of public criticism by Houllier, who suggested that he was not fully focussed on his football.

Gerrard claimed in his autobiography that the end of his parents marriage had deflected his attention from the team. Gerrard quickly recovered from this poor spell and once again began to assert sizeable influence on the team. The season culminated in a series of outstanding performances from Gerrard, which included him scoring the first goal in Liverpool's 2–0 Worthington Cup final victory over fierce rivals Manchester United.

2003–04: Captain of Liverpool
By the start of the 2003 season, Gerrard had established himself as Liverpool's on-field leader and he was officially recognised as club captain, replacing Sami Hyypia. Houllier handed the responsibility to Gerrard in October 2003, perhaps hoping that he could inspire his teammates to improve their performance, but also to compel him to take responsibility for his own indifferent disciplinary record – a tactic which apparently worked as throughout the season he was booked only twice.

His then Liverpool team mate, Michael Owen, in his autobiography expressed relief at Gerrard being named captain as it took the pressure off him. Gerrard also penned a four-year contract worth £60,000 a week.

However, while Gerrard excelled as Liverpool's captain, the team continued to stall and the 2003–04 season ended with no trophies and a lack of optimism about Liverpool's future prospects for success under Houllier.

For the first time it was suggested [who?] that Gerrard may have to move away from Anfield to fulfill his potential. The previous season had seen Liverpool fall well short of competing for top prizes and they only just scraped into a Champions League place on the last day of the league season.

The Liverpool board decided that change was essential and Gerard Houllier departed as manager. This led to frenzied media speculation that Gerrard would also leave Anfield, but the appointment of Rafael Benitez convinced him to stay to see what the new manager could deliver.

2004–05: Champions League Winner
Gerrard taking a freekick for Liverpool.Liverpool struggled early in the season under the new management. The club were not helped by the sale of Michael Owen to Real Madrid and a serious injury to striker Djibril Cisse. Injuries severely affected the rest of the team, including Gerrard himself.

A foot injury sustained against rivals Manchester United on 20 September 2004 ruled Gerrard out of first team football until late November 2004. By that stage the club were already out of realistic contention in the Premier League and they were also under pressure to stay in the Champions League.

Liverpool went into the final group game requiring a two-goal win to progress into the last 16 of the competition. Gerrard scored a 25-yard strike in the last five minutes against the Greek team Olympiakos to secure the team's progress, after being 1–0 down at half-time to a Rivaldo free kick and required three second half goals to go through.

Liverpool had been struggling for goals after Owen's sale and Cisse's injury. However, they launched a comeback scoring 2 goals before Gerrard secured their place in the knockout stage with the crucial third goal with a late strike from outside the box. He has since claimed that this was his most important, if not his best, goal for Liverpool to date.

Liverpool won their two-legged ties against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea in the knock out stages and they went on to reach the Champions League final.

However, in the meantime, the club only finished 5th in the league - more than thirty points behind the champions Chelsea. Liverpool did reach the Carling Cup final, but were beaten 3–2 by Chelsea after extra time. Gerrard headed an own goal with Liverpool winning with ten minutes left of normal time. This proved to be one of the lowest points of his Anfield career and once again, media speculation arose that he would be moving on from Liverpool at the end of the season.

Final in Istanbul
Liverpool played AC Milan in the 2005 Champions' League final in Istanbul. The game started badly. At half-time Liverpool were 3–0 down. It appeared that AC Milan had the trophy won already. Rafa Benitez made a number of tactical changes at half time, including the substitution of Dietmar Hamann for Steve Finnan which allowed Gerrard to push further forward, and Liverpool launched one of the most famous comebacks in sporting history.

During a six minute stretch in the second half, Liverpool scored three times to level the game at 3–3. Gerrard headed in the first goal in from a John Arne Riise cross in the 54th minute. Two minutes later Vladimír Šmicer scored the Reds' second goal. Moments later, Gerrard was brought down in the box by Gennaro Gattuso and won a penalty. Xabi Alonso's spot kick was saved by Dida, the goalkeeper, but he failed to hold the ball and Alonso scored from the rebound to make it 3–3.

There were no further goals in the game. Liverpool went on to win the match via a penalty shootout. Gerrard became the second youngest captain ever to lift the European Cup (Didier Deschamps is the youngest). Gerrard did not take a penalty, he would have taken Liverpool's fifth spot kick if Jerzy Dudek had not already saved from Andriy Shevchenko to win the match for Liverpool. Gerrard's goal made him one of only two people this century to score in both the UEFA Cup and Champions League finals (Dmitri Alenichev for FC Porto is the other).

Gerrard was named as UEFA's Most Valuable Player for the 2004–05 Champions' League season. He was also in the running for French sport newspaper L'Equipe's prestigious Ballon D'Or award. Gerrard came third in the 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year behind Ellen MacArthur (second) and Andrew Flintoff. He later finished third in the 2005 European footballer of the year award.

2005–06: FA Cup winner
In the 2005–06 season, Gerrard scored 23 goals in 53 games from midfield. In April, Gerrard received his greatest personal accolade to date, when he was voted PFA Player of the Year by his fellow players, becoming the first Liverpool player to win the award since John Barnes in 1988.

Gerrard capped the season by captaining Liverpool to victory in the FA Cup. He scored twice in the Final against West Ham, including an equalizer in stoppage time to send the game into extra-time. The 35-yard strike (past Shaka Hislop) has been called the greatest goal in FA Cup final history, and was named Match of the Day's Goal of the Season. Gerrard also scored in the penalty shoot out.

His goals in the 2006 FA Cup final makes Gerrard the only player to have scored in all four major cup finals that it is possible for an England-based player to take part in. Gerrard's goals were: FA Cup (2006 vs West Ham United), League Cup (2003 vs Manchester United), UEFA Cup (2001 vs Deportivo Alaves), and European Cup (2005 vs AC Milan).

2006–07: Champions League Runners-Up
Gerrard playing for Liverpool during the 2006–07 season Liverpool claimed the first domestic silverware of the 2006–07 season by beating Chelsea 2–1 to win the FA Community Shield. As Gerrard was rested from the starting line-up, Jamie Carragher was made captain for the match and thus lifted the cup; Gerrard replaced Boudewijn Zenden on the hour mark, and so added another medal to his collection.

Liverpool were unsuccessful domestically. They finished 3rd in the Premiership, 21 points adrift of the champions Manchester United and on equal points with 4th placed Arsenal. In the FA Cup, they were defeated by Arsenal at the third-round stage.

In the Carling Cup they were again knocked out by Arsenal at the quarter-final stage. Gerrard scored in the match but could not prevent his side suffering a 6–3 defeat at home.

However, Liverpool fared better in the Champions League. Defending Champions and favourites FC Barcelona were beaten in the last 16, and joint favourites Chelsea in the semi-final. In the semi, Gerrard provided the assist for Daniel Agger to score Liverpool's equalizer and later scored the third penalty for Liverpool in the shoot-out. Liverpool faced AC Milan for the title on 23 May, in a repeat of the 2005 final, but lost 2–1.

In Liverpool's first game of the new campaign against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Gerrard secured Liverpool three valuable points after scoring a curling free kick into the top-right corner from 25 yards out at the 87th minute, just two minutes after Gareth Barry had equalized for Villa through a penalty. Gerrard was awarded the Man of the Match award. The win marks Liverpool's first opening day victory in the Premiership since 2002.

In the Champions League qualifier versus Toulouse F.C., Gerrard was substituted in the 65th minute with a suspected injury. While this was later confirmed as a hairline fracture in his toe he would return to play only four days later versus Chelsea. Gerrard played the entirety of the match as it finished in a 1–1 draw.

On October 28, 2007, Gerrard played his 400th game for Liverpool against Arsenal, scoring a goal. Gerrard was elected fans player of the match.

Gerrard scored in nearly every game [quantify] during November and by scoring in the away Champions League tie against Olympic Marseille he became the first Liverpool player since John Aldridge in 1989 to score in 7 games in a row.

On April 13th 2008 he made his 300th Premier League appearance against Blackburn Rovers F.C., and marked the occasion by scoring the opening goal. Liverpool finished fourth in the League and reached the semi-finals of the European Champions League eventually going out to Chelsea.

Gerrard ended the season with 22 goals surpassing his goals total of the 06-07 season and was one of the nominees for the PFA player of the year alongside teammate Fernando Torres. He was also selected for the PFA Team of the year for the fifth year in a row and sixth overall.

International career
Gerrard was given his international debut by Kevin Keegan against Ukraine on 31 May 2000. It was 18 months and only 44 games since his debut for the Liverpool first team. That summer, he was picked for the England squad for Euro 2000. In an unsuccessful campaign for England, Gerrard only made one substitute appearance, coming on for Michael Owen after 61 minutes, in the team's sole victory — a 1-0 defeat of Germany.

Gerrard was one of three Liverpool players including Michael Owen (3 goals) and Emile Heskey (1 goal) who scored in the World Cup qualifying game in September 2001 against Germany (1– 5 away victory), this being his first international goal. England successfully qualified for the 2002 World Cup, but Gerrard was forced to pull out of the squad to undergo surgery on a problematic groin injury.This operation finally put an end to injury problems that had plagued Gerrard since his early teens.

The 2004 European Football Championship saw Gerrard finally get a starting role in a major international tournament. Late in England's first game against France, Gerrard's back-pass was intercepted by Thierry Henry, who was then brought down by David James, winning France a penalty. Zinedine Zidane duly scored to give France victory 2-1.

England went on to win their next two group games to progress in second place, with Gerrard scoring his first goal at a finals competition with the third goal against Switzerland. England lost in the next round to Portugal, with Gerrard being substituted in the 81st minute.

Gerrard suffered an injury scare days before the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when it was suggested that he might be ruled out of England's first game of the tournament; however, he was deemed fit to make his first ever World Cup appearance, and started in the side that beat Paraguay 1-0. He then went on to score twice in the group stages of the tournament – first netting England's second goal in a 2-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago with a long-range, curled strike (coincidentally, again past Hislop) in injury time. This victory, in which Gerrard's Liverpool team-mate Peter Crouch also scored, ensured England's progress to the second round of the tournament with a game to spare.

Gerrard was then initially rested for the final group game against Sweden, as a precaution against picking up a second booking that would have ruled him out of the second round match (having already received one against Paraguay). He came off the bench to score a powerfully headed goal in the 85th minute, giving England the lead in a game that finished 2-2. Gerrard was one of three England players to see their penalty saved by Ricardo Pereira in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out which was won by Portugal. Gerrard finished the tournament as England's top goalscorer with two goals.

Gerrard was regarded by both the footballing media and bookmakers to be one of the prime candidates for the England captaincy after David Beckham resigned the post. William Hill gave odds of 2/1 for Gerrard (with John Terry as favourite on 1/2 odds). With 47 caps at that time, Gerrard was a more experienced international player (as opposed to Terry's 29), but Steve McClaren chose to give the post to the Chelsea skipper, with Gerrard as vice-captain.

On October 13, 2007, Gerrard captained the England squad for the first time in a competitive match. Due to England failing to qualify for The European Championships in 2008, Steve McClaren was fired by the F.A. Fabio Capello was hired and is responsible for deciding who the captains arm band will be given to. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Oct. 1:
Steven Gerrard's fantastic 25-yard free-kick vs. PSV at Anfield provides the Liverpool skipper with a memorable 100th goal for the club. And Reds won 3-1.

Apr. 3:
Gerrard has agreed a new two-year contract extension - barely a fortnight after talks opened with Liverpool.
The Reds skipper has agreed terms on a deal which will keep him at Anfield until 2013.

May: Gerrard named the 2009 Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

July 8: Gerrard has put pen to paper on a new four-year contract that will ensure he remains at Liverpool for the rest of his career.
This new contract runs until 2013 and is worth an estimated £26million.

Feb. 25:
Gerrard has set a new goal-scoring record in Europe.
The midfielder's goal against Unirea in the Europa League means he's now scored more goals than any other English player in Europe.
Gerrard scored Liverpool's third goal in his side's 3-1 win, taking his goal-scoring tally in European competitions to 33.
Former Newcastle player and Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer previously held the record with 32 goals.


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