When Steven Gerrard scored that 86th minute goal against Olympiacos ,I knew I’d be his loyal follower. Even though it was Robbie Fowler whose Liverpool story made me an LFC fan, I can say with immense pride that it was Steven Gerrard who turned me into a supporter. Not just that, the fact that he made his Liverpool debut on 29th November, exactly 5 years before I was born, makes it even more special for me even though he played for a mere 3 minutes that day. From a Scouser who dreamt of playing for Liverpool to the cult hero of the Kop, Stevie’s journey makes us proud of who he is. If you’d ask me, I’ve never seen a Liverpool without him, and I’m pretty sure it’s the same with most of the Kopites my age. We grew up under Steven Gerrard’s influences. We smiled with him, we laughed with him and there were times when he made us cry too. It was all a part of unconditional love we had for him, because he was(is and will always be) our supernova.
A complete midfielder, he evolved tactically, coming into his own in a box-to-box central midfield role, which allowed him to be effective both offensively and defensively. In addition to creating goals, Gerrard has the ability to score goals due to his striking ability from distance with either foot (despite being naturally right-footed). An accurate set-piece and penalty kick taker, his main attributes are his pace, work-rate, stamina, vision, ball striking, and his accurate, varied passing range, which allows him to set the tempo of his team’s play and create attacking chances. He also possesses good technical and aerial ability, as well as notable defensive attributes. In particular, Gerrard’s tactical intelligence and ability to read the game allows him to break down the opposition’s attacking plays. In addition to his footballing attributes, Gerrard is highly regarded for his leadership, determination, and influence on the pitch.
Few seasons ago, when there were speculations that he’d join some other clubs, he said it was more important to win a couple of trophies and achieve something that is a lot more difficult than go down the easy road and move to a club where it becomes easier. He made us believe in loyalty and trust. He taught us life lessons in ways no one possibly could. And even though we knew he’d never let us down in any possible way, we also knew that we’ll have to let him go at some point of time, but we’ve always brushed it off because we’ve never had the courage to do so. When there were hints that he might be here only for one more season, we wondered what it would be like to see him in colors other than ours. So, the news of Stevie leaving Liverpool at the end of this season has hit us like a tornado. We know he’s leaving to explore and experience the football world beside Liverpool, but it hurts beyond imagination. And now that we only have some 100 days left with him as our captain, there are tons of questions hovering my mind. Who will take those picture perfect corner kicks? Who will kiss the camera and send his love to millions of us at home? Who will slide to the corner flag after a brilliant goal? Who will lift the confidence of the players when they need it? Who will we look forward to in the derby? And even though he’ll always be our Captain Fantastic, who will we turn to when we need a miracle?
All said, Gerrard will forever be in our hearts. We all have shimmering hopes that after few seasons away from us he’ll come back and be united with us again. We’re just not ready to let him go, not because of his stats(which, aren’t that bad either!), but because he is the best footballer in the world! But if we do look back, his honors include two FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. He is, to date, the only footballer ever to have scored a goal in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League Final. In 2005, he was honored as the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or Bronze Award too. He has also been named in the PFA Team of the Year a record eight times, the UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA World XI three times, and was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009. But most importantly, he will always be number one in the ‘100 players who shook the Kop’.
So, with heavy heart, I’d like to wish him all the best. The people who’ll get to see him play for the team they support have no idea what it’ll be like to have a supernova in their team. They’ll be the second luckiest lot after us to have a complete football player drone their colors. And even though he’ll always be Mr. Liverpool, we know he’ll give his best for LA GALAXY because like we always say, Steven Gerrard Gerrard, he can pass 40 yards, he’s big and he’s effing hard!