As every Liverpool fan knows by now, Steven Gerrard will end his mammoth stint with the Reds by joining LA Galaxy when his contract expires at the end of the season.
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Our iconic No.8 has played over 700 games in all competitions since making the step-up into the first-team in 1998. He’s also won ten major honours, including the Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup twelve months later.
And now, the 34-year-old has just three games left of his Liverpool career – away to Chelsea, at home to Crystal Palace and away to Stoke City on the final day of the Premier League season – with the Reds hoping to go into that last game with a chance of still snatching fourth place away from Manchester United.
For Gerrard, it’s been a difficult season for many reasons, at least prior to the outpouring of joy that followed his late winner against Queens Park Rangers last weekend. He’s found himself in and out of the team due to form and fitness, while Brendan Rodgers has failed to mastermind a second constitutive title challenge.
Gerrard made the decision back in January that he was heading for the MLS and he has since been speaking about the motivation behind the choice. Indeed, he’s revealed that the decisive factor was his fear of being reduced to a bit-part player.
For someone that’s always been so integral to the way his team plays, this is easy to understand. In quotes taken by the Daily Star, he said: “I didn’t feel I’d enjoy it as much at Liverpool if I became a squad player or a bit-part player.
“I still have the same attitude and hunger that I’ve always had. I want to play games from the start and win. I still want to challenge for honours. All of that combined means LA Galaxy is the ideal place for the next part of my career.
“Since I got into the first-team set-up nearly 17 years ago, I’ve lived my life for Liverpool Football Club. I wake up every day wanting success just as much as the fans. I’ve been that way for an awful long time and it’s been a privilege to captain our club. I’ve loved wearing the armband.
“At the same time, it will be nice to step away from that intensity and take a deep breath, I’ll be able to go and enjoy the remaining years of my career without that same level of pressure.
“I’m coming up to the age of 35 now and I’m in the fortunate position where I can give my family a completely new experience. I can withdraw from Liverpool FC for a while and look in on it.”
Thanks for the memories Stevie, it’s been a privilege to watch you play for all these years…