It’s official now. A little more than a year after he left Liverpool, the best player that many Reds supporters will have ever watched play for the club has confirmed that he will no longer play football. Following a short break, a few weeks to reflect and decide, Steven Gerrard has officially retired.
“Following recent media speculation surrounding my future, I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football,” Gerrard confirmed in a statement to the media released today. “I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England, and LA Galaxy.”
The Liverpool legend played 710 games for his boyhood club, scoring 186 goals and captaining the side starting in the 2003-2004 season. He was on hand for 2001’s treble and 2002-03’s League Cup triumph. He then went on to captain Liverpool to victory in the 2012 League Cup, 2006 FA Cup, and, of course, in the 2005 UEFA Champions League.
For his efforts in leading the club to glory in Istanbul in 2005 he was nominated for Europe’s Ballon d’Or, winning the bronze. He was the PFA’s player of the year in 2001 and 2009, and was also named the FWA player of the year in 2009 when he and Liverpool pushed to within four points of Manchester United and the title.
Following his 17 storied seasons at Anfield, Gerrard moved to LA Galaxy for a season and a half, where he added 38 games and 5 goals to his career totals. All told, he registered 114 senior England caps, scoring 21 times for his country.
“As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool,” Gerrard added. “When I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998, I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years.
“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career. I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul.”
Now, with Gerrard having retired—and with the player having recently turned down the chance to manage MK Dons—speculation will inevitably turn to whether he will join Liverpool as a coach at the academy level or if instead he might take some time off from the game entirely following the end of his 18-year career.