By the time the next Euros roll around he will be 36. By the time of the next World Cup 36 will become 38. While it's not entirely beyond the realm of possibility to think Steven Gerrard might stick around the England squad until then, it's at least pretty near the edge of the realm of possibility. Which is to say that most would agree it isn't very likely.
Most in this case would include manager Brendan Rodgers, who sees himself sitting down with his captain to asses his situation when Gerrard returns from Brazil and what will likely be his last, best chance to captain his country before he passes the torch to a younger player, even if he decides to stick around for another year or two.
"I think we'll assess it after the World Cup," said Rodgers when asked about his captain's England future. "He'll arrive in the World Cup at 34. He's been a brilliant captain for me, great leader, brilliant man. Many thought maybe he was on the way down but he'll arrive in to the Champions League next season as one of the playmakers of the tournament.
"His condition is terrific. He's in every day, eats the right foods and his body weight is right on the money. Next season there will be a big demand and if he comes and asks that, I'll give an opinion on it. He loves playing for England, he'll go and concentrate on England now, and we'll see what happens after that."
Few have played a significant role for their country for quite so long as Gerrard has. Eventually, though, every player has to begin to assess his future. For Gerrard, with a choice between international retirement or a greatly reduced role in the next cycle of international competition, that time is no more than a month or two away.