Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard has officially confirmed that he will leave his beloved Liverpool at the end of the season.
The 34 year old Liverpool skipper is out of contract in the summer and has decided to continue his career elsewhere, instead of accepting a new Liverpool contract offered to him in November by the club.
In a statement on the club’s official website, Gerrard said: ‘This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.’
He also stated, ‘I’m going to carry on playing and although I can’t confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool as that is something I could never contemplate.’
Reports are linking Gerrard with a move to the US to compete in the MLS, with speculation that LA Galaxy and the two New York teams, City and Red Bulls, are interested in the central midfielder. Although the US seems the most likely switch for Gerrard, there is reported interest from clubs in the Middle East and Australia.
Gerrard joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of nine, and made his first team debut as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in 1998. Since then he has went on to score 180 goals in 695 appearances for Liverpool, and has won 11 trophies along the way including: the UEFA Cup, two FA Cups, three League Cups, one Community Shield, two UEFA Super Cups, and the 2005 UEFA Champions League. He remains the only player to score in a Champions League final, a UEFA Cup final, an FA Cup final and a League Cup final.
Gerrard earned 114 caps for England, and captained the side in a majority of these games, before retiring after the World Cup.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said,‘It is almost an impossible task to find the words to appropriately sum up Steven Gerrard and his importance to Liverpool. ‘This is an era where the word ‘legend’ is vastly overused, but in his case it actually doesn’t do him justice.’
By : Joshua Kerr