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Steven Gerrard

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Gerrard: My Autobiography : Book

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Steven Gerrard MBE (born 30 May 1980, Whiston, Merseyside) is an English football player. He is the captain of Liverpool, where he wears the number 8 shirt. He is the England vice captain, for which he wears the number 4 shirt. He has been called an influential[2] and versatile midfielder, and is known for his long-range shots and defence-splitting passes, he is usually employed in the "box-to-box" midfield role, although he has often been deployed as a right-sided midfielder, and occasionally as a second striker. Throughout his career he has won the PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Player of the Year, European Midfielder of the year, Premier League Most Valuable Player (twice), and UEFA Most Valuable Player. He has also been awarded the MBE for his outstanding contributions in both the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2006 FA Cup Final in which he greatly inspired his team's comeback.[2][3][4] He has been nominated three times for the FIFA Player of the Year, in 2005, 2006 and 2007. On February 5th 2008 it was announced he had been voted by fans, the Nationwide England Player of the Year for 2007.[5]
 

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Early career

Comment "Gerrard u reali tha best! U inspiring n unpredictable! I love tha outrageous goals! U'l neva walk alone! LIVERPOOL al tha way!"

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Gerrard started out playing for local team Whiston Juniors. He was noticed by Liverpool's scouts aged just 8,[6] and joined the Reds as a schoolboy in 1987. He played relatively few games, with late growth spurts restricting him to only 20 games between the ages of 14 and 16.

Aged 14, Gerrard had trials with various clubs, including Manchester United. In his autobiography he claimed that this was "to pressure Liverpool into giving me a YTS contract." During this time he had an accident involving a rusty garden fork and could have lost his toe.[7]

Gerrard signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on 5 November 1997.[7] He was paid £700 a week

Liverpool first team

1998-99: Debut season

Gerrard made his debut for the Liverpool first team on 29 November 1998 as a second-half substitute for Vegard Heggem against Blackburn.[7] His first start came in the UEFA Cup against Celta Vigo.[7] Due to an injury to Jamie Redknapp, Gerrard went on to play 13 games for Liverpool that season.

1999-00: First team regular

The 1999–2000 season saw manager Gérard Houllier start with Gerrard partnering Jamie Redknapp in central midfield. After being in the starting line-up for the first six games, Gerrard was relegated to the substitutes' bench for the local derby against Everton.[7] Gerrard replaced Robbie Fowler after 66 minutes but went on to receive the first red card of his career for a foul on Everton's Kevin Campbell in the 90th minute.[7] Later that season, Gerrard scored his first senior goal in a 4-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.[7]

His back was causing him regular problems. At the time, many journalists surmised that fans would never see Steven Gerrard complete anything close to a full season. However, manager Gerard Houllier took the practical approach and sought specialist help. After visits to the renowned sports consultant Dr Müller-Wohlfarth,[7] it was diagnosed that Gerrard's pains were a result of accelerated growth in a short period of time.[7] After treatment he and Liverpool F.C. were assured that these problems would not recur. Gerrard then suffered from groin problems. He was said to need four operations for this correction.[7] He then saw Liverpool F.C. doctors and kept his faith with Liverpool. He was sent to a Frenchman for his treatment by Gérard Houllier.[7] He worked hard to recover and soon his groin injuries were no longer a problem. It had also been claimed that because of a 3 inch growth in his height during one year that the growth in his body caused many of the problems. In his early career it was said by some that it was impossible for him to play two games a week.

2000-01: The "treble" season

2000–01 brought Gerrard his first trophy successes: he put his injury problems behind him and made 50 first team appearances, scoring 10 goals, as Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup. In the UEFA Cup final against Alavés, Gerrard scored his first major final goal as Liverpool won 5-4. At the end of the season Gerrard was named PFA Young Player of the Year.

2001-02: Growing influence

Following the 2001 treble season, Gerrard became increasingly influential in the Liverpool side as he became more experienced and his injury problems waned. He played an important part in Liverpool's 2001–02 season which resulted in the club finishing second in the Premier League with their best points tally in over a decade. During the course of this season, Houllier suffered serious health problems which resulted in him having to undergo major heart surgery. At this point Liverpool looked like becoming a force in English Football once again, but after Houllier's illness the team began to go backwards. The team's performance became increasingly erratic and reliant on Gerrard and Michael Owen to win matches with flashes of inspiration.

2002-03: League cup winner

Gerrard suffered a period of unusual poor form during this time culminating in his substitution during a Champions League match with Basle at half time with Liverpool 3–0 down. After the game Gerrard was the subject of public criticism by Houllier, who suggested that he was not fully focussed on his football. Gerrard claimed in his autobiography that the end of his parents marriage had deflected his attention from the team. Gerrard quickly recovered from this poor spell and once again began to assert sizeable influence on the team. The season culminated in a series of outstanding performances from Gerrard, which included him scoring the first goal in Liverpool's 2–0 Worthington Cup final victory over fierce rivals Manchester United.

2003-04: Captain of Liverpool

By the start of the 2003 season, Gerrard had established himself as Liverpool's on-field leader and he was officially recognised as club captain, replacing Sami Hyppia. Houllier handed the responsibility to Gerrard in October 2003,[7] perhaps hoping that he could inspire his teammates to improve their performance, but also to compel him to take responsibility for his own indifferent disciplinary record – a tactic which apparently worked as throughout the season he was booked only twice. His then Liverpool team mate, Michael Owen, in his autobiography expressed relief at Gerrard being named captain as it took the pressure off him. Gerrard also penned a 4 year contract worth £60,000 a week.

However while Gerrard excelled as Liverpool's captain, the team continued to stall and the 2003–04 season ended with no trophies and a lack of optimism about Liverpool's future prospects for success under Houllier. For the first time it was suggested that Gerrard may have to move away from Anfield to fulfill his potential. The previous season had seen Liverpool fall well short of competing for top prizes and they only just scraped into a Champions League place on the last day of the league season. The Liverpool board decided that change was essential and Gerard Houllier departed as manager. This led to frenzied media speculation that Gerrard would also leave Anfield, but the appointment of Rafael Benitez convinced him to stay to see what the new manager could deliver.

2004-05: Champions League Winner

Having committed to Liverpool, it was important for both the club and the player to have a good season. However, in the early part of the season Liverpool struggled under the new management. Liverpool were not helped by the sale of Michael Owen to Real Madrid and a serious injury to striker Djibril Cisse. Injuries severely affected the rest of the team, including Gerrard himself. A foot injury sustained against rivals Manchester United on 20 September 2004 ruled Gerrard out of first team football until late November 2004. By that stage the club were already out of realistic contention in the Premier League and they were also under pressure to stay in the Champions League.

Liverpool went into the final group game requiring a 2 goal win to progress into the last 16 of the competition. Dramatically, Gerrard scored a crucial twenty-five-yard strike in the last five minutes against the Greek team Olympiakos to secure the team's progress.[7] . The result was particularly impressive as Liverpool were 1–0 down at half-time to a Rivaldo free kick and required three second half goals to go through. Liverpool had been struggling for goals after Owen's sale and Cisse's injury. However, they launched a dramtic comeback scoring 2 goals before Gerrard secured their place in the knockout stage with the crucial third goal with a late strike from outside the box. He has since claimed that this was his most important, if not his best, goal for Liverpool to date.[8]

This result dramatically transformed Liverpool's European season and they were victorious in two legged ties against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea in the knock out stages, with Gerrard a key performer throughout and they went on to reach the Champions League final. However, in the meantime, the club continued to struggle domestically finishing only 5th in the league - more than thirty points behind the champions Chelsea. Liverpool did reach the Carling Cup final, but were beaten 3–2 by Chelsea after extra time. Gerrard, unfortunately headed an own goal with Liverpool winning with ten minutes left of normal time. This proved to be one of the lowest points of his Anfield career and once again, media speculation arose that he would be moving on from Liverpool at the end of the season.

The Istanbul Final

Liverpool played AC Milan in the 2005 Champions' League final in Istanbul. The game started badly. At half-time Liverpool were 3–0 down. It appeared that AC Milan had the trophy won already. Rafa Benitez made a number of tactical changes at half time, the most crucial being the substitution of Dietmar Hamann for Steve Finnan which allowed Gerrard to push further forward. The changes were successful and Liverpool launched one of the most famous comebacks in sporting history.

In a frantic six minute spell in the second half Liverpool scored three times, to level the game at 3–3. Gerrard led the charge heading the first goal in from a John Arne Riise cross in the 54th minute. Taking heart from the goal Gerrard was seen widely gesturing to his team-mates and the supporters that they still had a chance to win. Two minutes later Vladimír Šmicer scored the Reds' second goal. Moments later, Gerrard was brought down in the box by Gennaro Gattuso and won a penalty. Xabi Alonso's spot kick was saved by Dida, the goalkeeper, but he failed to hold the ball and Alonso scored from the rebound to make it 3–3.

There were no further goals in the game. Liverpool went on to win the match via a penalty shootout. Steven Gerrard became the second youngest captain ever to lift the European Cup (Didier Deschamps is the youngest). Gerrard didn't take a penalty, he would have taken Liverpool's fifth spot kick if Jerzy Dudek hadn't already saved from Andriy Shevchenko to win the match for Liverpool.[7] Gerrard's goal made him one of only two people this century to score in both the UEFA Cup and Champions League finals (Dmitri Alenichev for FC Porto is the other).

Gerrard was named as UEFA's Most Valuable Player for the 2004–05 Champions' League season. He was also in the running for French sport newspaper L'Equipe's prestigious Ballon D'Or award. Gerrard came third in the 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year behind Ellen MacArthur (second) and Andrew Flintoff. He later finished 3rd in the 2005 European footballer of the year award.

2005-06: FA Cup winner

The 2005–06 season was perhaps Gerrard's most impressive to date.[9] He scored 23 goals in 53 games from midfield. In April, Gerrard received his greatest personal accolade to date, when he was voted PFA Player of the Year by his fellow players, becoming the first Liverpool player to win the award since John Barnes in 1988.[10] His only lowlight being a dreadful back pass which was intercepted by Thierry Henry, which lead to him scoring Arsenal's winning goal in a league game at Highbury.

Gerrard capped the season by captaining Liverpool to victory in the FA Cup. He scored twice in the Final against West Ham, including a dramatic equalizer in stoppage time to send the game into extra-time. The 35-yard strike (past Shaka Hislop) has been called the greatest goal in FA Cup final history, and was named Match of the Day's Goal of the Season. Gerrard also scored in the penalty shoot out.

His goals in the 2006 FA Cup final makes Gerrard the only player to have scored in all four major cup finals that it is possible for an England-based player to take part in.[11] Gerrard's goals were: FA Cup (2006 vs West Ham United), League Cup (2003 vs Manchester United), UEFA Cup (2001 vs Deportivo Alaves), and European Cup (2005 vs AC Milan).

2006-07

Liverpool claimed the first domestic silverware of the 2006-07 season by beating Chelsea 2–1 to win the FA Community Shield. As Gerrard was rested from the starting line-up, Jamie Carragher was made captain for the match and thus lifted the cup; Gerrard replaced Boudewijn Zenden on the hour mark, and so added another medal to his collection.

Liverpool were unsuccessful domestically. They finished 3rd in the Premiership, 21 points adrift of the champions Manchester United and on equal points with 4th placed Arsenal. In the FA Cup, they were defeated by Arsenal at the third-round stage.[12]

In the Carling Cup they were again knocked out by Arsenal at the quarter-final stage. Gerrard scored in the match but could not prevent his side suffering a 6-3 defeat at home.[13]

However, Liverpool fared better in the Champions League. Defending Champions and favourites FC Barcelona were beaten in the last 16, and joint favourites Chelsea in the semi-final. In the semi, Gerrard provided the assist for Daniel Agger to score Liverpool's equalizer and later scored the third penalty for Liverpool in the shoot-out. Liverpool faced AC Milan for the title on 23 May, in a repeat of the 2005 final, but lost 2–1.

2007-2008

In Liverpool's first game of the new campaign against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Steven Gerrard secured Liverpool three valuable points after scoring a curling free kick into the top-right corner from 25 yards out at the 87th minute, just two minutes after Gareth Barry had equalized for Villa through a penalty. Gerrard was awarded the Man of the Match award. The win marks Liverpool's first opening day victory in the Premiership since 2002. In the Champions League qualifier versus Toulouse F.C., Steven was substituted with a suspected injury and this was later confirmed. His injury was a hairline fracture of the toe but he would play in the game versus Chelsea.

On October 28, 2007 Steven Gerrard played his 400th game for Liverpool, scoring in the sixth minute, but Arsenal managed to equalize with a late shot from Francesc Fabregas in the 78th minute. Gerrard was elected fans player of the match. On November 28, 2007 Liverpool beat Porto 4–1 in the Champions League, with Gerrard scoring an 83rd minute penalty.

Gerrard has scored in nearly every game since the beginning of November and by scoring in the away Champions League tie against Olympic Marseille he became the first Liverpool player since John Aldridge in 1989 to score in 7 games in a row. As of January 25, 2008, he has scored 15 goals in all competitions, surpassing his total number of 11 goals scored last season.

Transfer speculation

Media speculation of Steven Gerrard's future was rife during two consecutive summer transfer windows, with him being most strongly linked with a move to Chelsea both times. During the summer of 2004,[7] he was approached by Chelsea, but eventually chose to stay at Liverpool. It is known that he was on the brink of signing for the London club but was persuaded to stay by his family and friends and his feeling that, as a local born player, he would regret playing for any other club team but Liverpool FC. The arrival of a new Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez also played a part in his decision.[7]

Immediately after the 2005 Champions League final, Gerrard gave a hint regarding his future, when he said to the press: "How can I leave after a night like this?"[14] However, by July contract negotiations broke down between Gerrard and the club. Reports stated that Gerrard was about to leave Liverpool, and Chelsea were again reported to have tabled a British record bid of thirty-two million pounds for the player. Throughout the episode, Liverpool remained insistent that they wanted Gerrard to stay, but on 5 July, Gerrard stated publicly that he wished to leave.[15]

To the delight of Liverpool fans, Gerrard changed his mind the next day and pledged his future to the club.[7][16] He also apologized to the club's supporters and insisted that there were no get-out clauses in the new contract that he would be signing. He also offered to give up his captaincy, but was told by Rafael Benítez that it was not necessary. On the morning of 8 July, Gerrard signed a new four-year deal with Liverpool alongside teammate, Jamie Carragher.

In summer 2006, Gerrard quashed transfer rumours, publicly stating, "I'm not going to get involved in all that kind of speculation again; I'm settled and happy at Liverpool, and I'm not going to go through another summer like the last two. I'll be staying here until the day someone tells me they don't want me."[17]

Prior to the Champions League final in May 2007, Gerrard stated that he was in talks to sign a new contract with Liverpool, saying: "I've never been happier with my football. I'd love nothing better than to get this contract sorted and signed ... We need to keep all of our big players here so it's very important we get the contracts sorted out so they can be here for a long time."[18][19] It was announced on 4 May 2007, Gerrard would tie up a £120,000 pounds a week contract to keep him at Liverpool until the end of his career, despite already being contracted until 2009 . This contract would make him the highest paid British player. This was confirmed on 4 June 2007, when Gerrard and team-mate Jamie Carragher signed deals that would tie them to Liverpool until July 2011.[20]

International career

Gerrard was given his international debut by Kevin Keegan against Ukraine on 31 May 2000.[21] It was 18 months and only 44 games since his debut for the Liverpool first team. That summer, he was picked for the England squad for Euro 2000.[22] In an unsuccessful campaign for England, Gerrard only made one substitute appearance, coming on for Michael Owen after 61 minutes, in the team's sole victory — a 1-0 defeat of Germany.[23]

Gerrard was one of three Liverpool players including Michael Owen (3 goals) and Emile Heskey (1 goal) who scored in the World Cup qualifying game in September 2001 against Germany (1– 5 away victory), this being his first international goal.[24] England successfully qualified for the 2002 World Cup, but Gerrard was forced to pull out of the squad to undergo surgery on a problematic groin injury.[25] This operation finally put an end to injury problems that had plagued Gerrard since his early teens.

The 2004 European Football Championship saw Gerrard finally get a starting role in a major international tournament. Late in England's first game against France, Gerrard's back-pass was intercepted by Thierry Henry, who was then brought down by David James, winning France a penalty. Zinedine Zidane duly scored to give France victory 2-1.[26] England went on to win their next two group games to progress in second place, with Gerrard scoring his first goal at a finals competition with the third goal against Switzerland.[27] England lost in the next round to Portugal, with Gerrard being substituted in the 81st minute.[28]

Gerrard suffered an injury scare days before the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when it was suggested that he might be ruled out of England's first game of the tournament; however, he was deemed fit to make his first ever World Cup appearance,[29] and started in the side that beat Paraguay 1-0.[30] He then went on to score twice in the group stages of the tournament – first netting England's second goal in a 2-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago with a long-range, curled strike (coincidentally, again past Hislop) in injury time. This victory, in which Gerrard's Liverpool team-mate Peter Crouch also scored, ensured England's progress to the second round of the tournament with a game to spare.[31] Gerrard was then initially rested for the final group game against Sweden, as a precaution against picking up a second booking that would have ruled him out of the second round match (having already received one against Paraguay). He came off the bench to score a powerfully headed goal in the 85th minute, giving England the lead in a game that finished 2-2.[32] Gerrard was one of three England players to see their penalty saved by Ricardo Pereira in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out which was won by Portugal. Gerrard finished the tournament as England's top goalscorer with two goals.[33]

Gerrard was regarded by both the footballing media and bookmakers to be one of the prime candidates for the England captaincy after David Beckham resigned the post.[34] William Hill gave odds of 2/1 for Gerrard (with John Terry as favourite on 1/2 odds). With 47 caps at that time, Gerrard was a more experienced international player (as opposed to Terry's 29), but Steve McClaren chose to give the post to the Chelsea skipper, with Gerrard as vice-captain.[35] On October 13, 2007, Gerrard captained the England squad for the first time in a competitive match. Due to England failing to qualify for The European Championshipsin 2008, Steve McClaren was fired by The F.A. Fabio Capello was hired who is responsible deciding who the captains arm band will be given to. He could decide that John Terry will remain the captain, but could give the responsibility to Gerrard.

Personal life

Gerrard is married to Alex Curran, and the couple have two daughters: Lilly-Ella Gerrard (born February 23, 2004) and Lexie Gerrard (born May 9, 2006). They married at Cliveden on June 16, 2007, the same day as the weddings of England team-mates Gary Neville, Michael Carrick and rock star Rod Stewart, a day after England captain John Terry's.[36][37][38] He has an older brother named Paul. His parents are divorced.

On 1 September 2006, Gerrard published his first autobiography, entitled Gerrard: My Autobiography, in which he talks extensively about his personal life, Liverpool and England careers. Gerrard states in his autobiography that his ambition before he retires is to get a "well done" from manager Rafael Benitez.[7] Gerrard's Autobiography was awarded the sports book of the year in the Galaxy British Book Awards by beating other sport books like Pelé: The Autobiography.

On 13 December 2006, councillors of Knowsley voted to make him a Freeman of the Borough. The first person to receive the honour since 1988, other people previously honoured include Lord Wilson the former Labour Prime Minister.[39] The formal ceremony is expected to take place in 2007.

On 29 December 2006, Gerrard was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in her New Year Honours List, for services to sport.[40]

On October 1, 2007 he had a low-speed car accident in his BMW X5, knocking down a 10 year old boy who ran into the road outside Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Southport.[41] Gerrard later visited the boy and handed him football boots signed by the boy's favourite player, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, who is a teammate of Gerrard for England's international team. The boy has since recovered fully from his accident.

On December 11, 2007 whilst he was scoring for Liverpool against Marseille, his house was being burgled.

Career honours/achievements

Liverpool
  • Winner
    • FA Cup: 2000-01, 2005-06
    • League Cup: 2000-01, 2002-03
    • UEFA Champions League: 2004-05
    • UEFA Cup: 2000-01
    • Community Shield: 2001, 2006
    • European Super Cup: 2001, 2005
  • Runner Up
    • FIFA Club World Championship: 2005
    • League Cup: 2004-05
    • Charity Shield: 2002
    • FA Premier League: 2001-02
    • UEFA Champions League: 2006-07
Personal
  • 2007 Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  • 2006 PFA Player of the Year
  • 2004–05 UEFA Champions' League Most Valuable Player
  • 2001 PFA Young Player of the Year
Sporting positions
Liverpool F.C. Captain
2003-
Awards
PFA Young Player of the Year
2001
UEFA Champions League Most Valuable Player
2004-05
PFA Players' Player of the Year
2006
PFA Fans' Player of the Year (Premiership)
2001

References and Notes

Wiki Source

Comments

Gerrard u reali tha best! U inspiring n unpredictable! I love tha outrageous goals! U'l neva walk alone! LIVERPOOL al tha way!

i love u gerrard u r d best football player i hv ever seen .. keep it up

HE IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD

he is a great player and i support him and the club and wish to play alongside him.

Stevie, what can i say, absolute magic. No other person on this planet can do what you can do, and with the passion that you do it. Unbelievable.

sssoooo cool like a mocho man

gerrard is the best have you seen his goals

Stiiiiiiiv GERRARD !!! U are nr 1 in the world man...... I like u so much

You wonderful footballer steven and you my number one.

this page is a boss page. steven gerrard is the best player going. p.s he is the fittest player going

I love Steven Gerrard , best english footballer.................
ever!  In fact best FOOTBALLER ever!

gerrard is so fit i am only a teenager but gerrard is my idol

gerrard you are awsome you easily the best player in the world you score awsome goals come on gerrard make your fans proud and win

i support gerrard but my best midfielder is frank

he is the best    yes he is

Steven Gerrard is always the best of the best. He's the greates. Liverpool and Gerrard ALL THE WAY!!!
Gerrard, dun let the liverpool fans down, score more....win more!!!!

omigod gerrard is sooo fit and lilly-ella and lexie r gawjus. alex is realli pretti aswell. they make the perfect family.

gerrard is very sexy and lilly-ella is gorgeous alex is well pretty and as for lexie she is a beauty they are the perfect family

lilly-ella is my mates lil cuz her name is ellie-may lilly ella is proper cute and i love gerrard he is sexy


 


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