Steven Gerrard hoisting that Champions League trophy in Istanbul, grinning so wide it looked like it must have hurt, surrounded by red confetti and his joyful teammates, is one of the indelible images burned into every Liverpool fan’s mind. His heroic performance that day is only one of the reasons why he’s considered one of Liverpool’s best players of all time.
On June 1st, Gerrard had a new Liverpool experience: watching the team win a trophy as a fan.
It was Jordan Henderson, his successor, who had the privilege of raising that trophy with his team in Madrid. Gerrard was in the crowd, a guest of the club, and he spoke to The National about how that moment felt.
“I loved the night in Madrid for the Champions League final,” Gerrard said. “It was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to do it as a fan. I got the invite from Liverpool. I had one to do it for the TV as well but I decided to do it as a supporter and it was brilliant.
“I think it was deserved after the season that Liverpool had and going so close in the Premier League. It was fantastic for everyone and I’ve still got mates in that team.
“I have built a bit of a relationship with Jurgen as well and after going so close to the sixth the time before, I was delighted for him. It was a great experience.”
Was he jealous when it was Henderson doing the honours? Gerrard says no.
“How could I be jealous of Jordan lifting the trophy? He’s my mate. I am tight with Jordan and we played together for many years with Liverpool and England. I was delighted for him and it was so deserved, there is no better professional than Jordan. You get out of this game what you put in, so if you go on that then he certainly deserves it.
“I know his dad quite well as well, along with his mum. They asked me to keep an eye on him when he first rolled up and came into Anfield from Sunderland as a young boy. He has got great parents that support him and I know they have had family issues over the last year or so. So, it was fantastic for their family, I’m absolutely delighted for them.”
It remains to be seen if Gerrard will have the same reaction when Klopp’s Reds inevitably lift that Premier League trophy as well.