Midfielder, Steven Gerrard, has made 695 appearances for Liverpool Football Club in his career. Gerrard, now nearly 35, has been with the Merseyside club since he was scouted at age 8 when playing with his local team. Since being signed by Liverpool’s youth team his career has done nothing but skyrocket, producing 181 goals, and 92 assist in 458 starts with the club. In his 17 year professional career Gerrard has captained Liverpool 460 of his 695 appearances; he is the most captained player in Liverpool Football Club history.
Gerrard, coming to the end of his career, has now found Liverpool’s back turned on him. Coach Brendan Rogers has stated his desire to move Liverpool away from its older heroes and on towards the new and upcoming generation that plays fast and sharp instead of skillful and determined. This change of direction has caused many Liverpool legends, such as Steven Gerrard, to be left in the shadows struggling to get game time that is vital for any professional to continue a healthy career.
This type of betrayal is becoming more and more common among professional clubs in today’s game. Landon Donovan a recently retired soccer player who spent 14 years on the United States Men’s National Team was shunned from the team before the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Donovan, the team’s all-time leading goal scorer and assist leader, was excluded from the team due to Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s belief that he was too old to play at that stage. Donovan responded to this snub by having a record-breaking season in the MLS, becoming the leagues all time leading goal scorer and all time assist leader. He also topped this season off by winning his 6th MLS Cup; more than any other player in the history of the league. Players like these who have loyally stood by their teams through the good times and the bad now find that the very teams they gave everything to are giving up on them. Many of these players are well decorated and are known throughout the soccer world.
Gerrard has a long list of achievements with Liverpool such as winning 2 F.A Cups, 3 League Cups and the Champions League including multiple individual awards. He is seen by his teammates as an important influence and contributor to the play of the team.
Jose Enrique, a Liverpool Defender, speaks of Gerrard saying, “he’s our captain and he’s been really, really important for us,” this aspect on Gerrard is shared by many players and staff members.
The loss of Gerrard is taking a toll on many of his teammates who saw him as a fundamental part of the Liverpool squad. Liverpool Striker, Mario Balotelli, stated his views on Gerrard’s departure by saying, “He’s an amazing player. It’s going to be very difficult for the team to find another player like him in the future”.
Gerrard is set to make a transfer to the Los Angeles Galaxy, a club in United States’ Major League Soccer, during the summer transfer window.