The name Steven Gerrard is synonymous with Liverpool Football Club. However, Gerrard has now announced that he will no longer pull the jersey of his boyhood club. The Liverpool captain will be out of contract at the end of the season and has opted not to sign despite the club being keen to keep their talismanic captain.
For 17 years, Gerrard grabbed the attention of the watching world with his impressive performances and the would-be hero went on to become one of the most revered figure in the sport. Gerrard released a statement expressing the reason for his departure.
“I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool. My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over. From now until the last kick of the last game of the season, I will be as fully committed to the team as I ever have been and giving everything I have to help Liverpool win games.”
Many now speculate that Steven Gerrard will now head to the United States, with Los Angeles Galaxy leading the race to sign the 34-year-old. It is reported that the L.A.-based franchise is prepared to offer Gerrard the same wages offered to David Beckham. However, their president Chris Klein rebuffed any such suggestions.
“We don’t have anything yet. We don’t comment on players that are not with our club. We’ve been pretty consistent with that all along.”
The MLS is becoming a popular choice for many aging elite footballers looking to earn relatively the same wages while enjoying regular football. The likes of Beckham, Henry, Ljunberg, and Keane have enjoyed success playing in America, and a move would suit not just Gerrard’s professional ambitions but also offer the chance to give his young family a change of scenery, one away from the media spotlight which he often loathes.
For Liverpool fans, Gerrard’s announcement is met with sadness and relative shock despite the aging midfielder retaining a less significant role compared to last season. For a generation, many can’t recall a Liverpool without Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard has come to symbolize the club for better or worse, from his heroics in Istanbul to his slip against Chelsea last season, Gerrard has played a leading role for almost two decades at the Merseyside club.
There is still much to accomplish with Liverpool competing on four fronts this season, and Steven Gerrard will still be keen to end his Liverpool career on a high come May.
[Image via Google Images]