Captain Fantastic Steven Gerrard Retires
We all knew this day will eventually come and here it is. After 19 years of professional football, Steven Gerrard announced his retirement. One-club man with +700 appearances for Liverpool, 186 goals, god knows how many assists and winner of 8 cups, including UEFA Champions League. What more to say about Stevie G that hasn’t been said already? Not much, but there’s one fun fact you might have missed. Gerrard was wearing Liverpool’s captain armband for the first time in UEFA Cup match against Slovenian team Olimpija Ljubljana!
Whoever follows me on Twitter knows I’m a Liverpool FC supporter. I hope no one unsubscribes because of that, I’d rather see some friendly banter about that fact 😀 I’m sure I’ll get a few condolences as well 😉
I don’t remember when the whole LFC craze even started with me, but I do remember a game in 2001, when Liverpool was playing in UEFA Cup finals against Deportivo Alaves and scored bunch of goals (5:4 was final result) and I think that might have been my tipping point. Who doesn’t like bunch of goals and winning trophies?! So you could say I’m kind of a glory hunter 😛
Steven was already an important part of the team at that time, even though he was still pretty young. I was just a teenager, trying to find his place in this world and searching for idols to look up to. Decade and a half later he is retiring from the game of football as a legend, as one of the best midfielders in the world. And I’m here writing a blog and being a little bit sad about the fact that I’ll never see my favourite footballer play again. No more screamers, no more 40 yard passes, no more last minute thrillers. But hey, its just football, right?
Of course now I went binge shopping for his autobiographies and stuff. Guess I’ll give myself a little treat for St. Nicholas/Santa Clause. Oh, what a coincidence, there’s a sale on his books! I think I’m not the only one buying things right now 😀
I’m sure everybody who’s following European football knows about 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul, when Liverpool beat Milan on penalties while being down 0:3 in the first half. One of the greatest Liverpool matches and probably the best UEFA CL Final to date. But, I do have a confession to make. Of course I was watching the game, with my red scarf around my neck, biting nails and being frustrated with a goal in the first minutes of the game, but after the 3rd Milan goal… I just turned my TV off. Three goals in the first 45 minutes was too much for me to bear.
Of course we know what happened in the second half… Well I didn’t, because I wasn’t watching it anymore, until my father pointed out in 85th minute or something that Liverpool leveled the score to 3:3. I thought he was joking, but nope. I did watch the extra time and penalties at the end, so it wasn’t a total waste, but I do regret missing the experience of scoring three goals in finals in a manner like that. Steven Gerrard got the first goal for 1:3 and was fouled in penalty box for the third.
After this match I promised myself to never turn off TV like that and just continue watching, because with Liverpool you really never know. There were several more comebacks like this, the biggest one being FA Cup Final win against West Ham United. Trailing 0:2 and 2:3, Steven Gerrard scored in +90th minute to equalize and Liverpool won it after penalties again. This Stevie’s goal is one of my favourite, I remember going absolutely mental when he scored. You can see the goal below.
Yeah, can’t go without mentioning his “slip” in the match against Chelsea. If I won’t mention it, you guys surely will 😛 Steven has won everything with the club: Champions League title, UEFA Cup, numerous FA Cups and League Cups, he is also the only player to score in all these competition’s finals. He won everything… Everything except the Premier League title.
Liverpool was an absolute favourite to win it in 2014 after a good run in the last third of that season. That was an awesome team to watch, breaking the record of goals scored. Leading thepack was Luis Suarez with 31 goals – the best player in the world. Sturridge added 21 that campaign and Stevie himself scored 13 with 13 assists. It really seemed everything is coming together, Liverpool even beat later winners Man City 3:2 at home at Anfield with famous Gerrard’s quote after the match: “This does not fuckin’ slip now!” And then there was that slip against Chelsea, which played horribly with Mourinho parking the bus in front of the goal. But still managed to score due to Steven’s mistake…
I’m sure those words and slip itself haunts him now and it will haunt him for as long as he lives, but he has done so much for the club in all these years that people can hardly hold anything against him. And I know they don’t, at least not “the sane ones”.
What I particularly like about English football is all the chants and banters from supporters. Liverpool sings their own from the Kop and of course one is reserved for Stevie. “Steve Gerrard Gerrard” is also the first chant I learned – it’s short, easy to remember, effective/loud, Que Sera Sera melody and has a swear word in it! What is not to like!? Just listen to it in a clip below and sing along 😀 Watch out how you pronounce f00cking, though. It has to be in that beautiful Scouse accent.
Steve Gerrard Gerrard,
he’ll pass the ball 40 yards,
he’s big and he’s f00cking hard,
Steve Gerrard Gerrard.
With Stevie retiring it definitely feels like the end of a certain era in my life. How could it not? Following and admiring a player for nearly 20 years has to leave an imprint somewhere. Sitting in front of TV or going to the pub to watch games. Wearing LFC shirt, screaming, laughing, crying, singing, cheering. With Liverpool and Captain Fantastic you had everything. But life and football world moves on and so does the man. He already hinted that he would be interested in some managerial/coaching work, maybe even at his home club. I think we might be in for a treat in the years to come! But until then…
Thank you for all the memories and thank you for everything Stevie.
The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.