Steven Ger­rard an­nounces retirement from foot­ball

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Reporter

FORMFORMER Liver­pool and EnglanEng­land cap­tain Steven Ger­rard an­nan­nounced his retirement fr­from pro­fes­sional foot­ball yyes­ter­day at the age of 36, call­ing time on an em­blem­atic ca­reer. Ger­rard spent 17 years at his home-town club Liver­pool, 12 as cap­tain, and won seven ma­jor hon­ours in­clud­ing the 22005 Cham­pi­ons League bef­be­fore fin­ish­ing his ca­reer with an 18-month stint at LA GalaGalaxy. "FFol­low­ing re­cent me­dia spec­spec­u­la­tion sur­round­ing my futu­fu­ture, I can con­firm my retp retirement from play­ing pro­fes­sional foot­ball," Ger­rard said in a state­ment."I have had an iin­cred­i­ble ca­reer and am thank­ful for each and ev­ery mo­ment of my time at Liver­pool, Eng­land and LA Galaxy.

"Al­though the Premier League ti­tle fa­mously eluded him, Ger­rard did win two FA Cups, three League Cups, the Uefa Cup, Uefa Su­per Cup and the Com­mu­nity Shield.His finest hour came in Is­tan­bul in May 2005, when he in­spired Liver­pool to come from 3-0 down against AC Mi­lan at half-time of the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal to win the club's fifth Euro­pean Cup.

In to­tal he made 710 ap­pear­ances for Liver­pool, the third-high­est to­tal be­hind Ian Cal­laghan and for­mer team-mate Jamie Car­ragher, scor­ing 186 goals.

Ger­rard made 114 ap­pear­ances for Eng­land, a tally bet­tered only by Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney and David Beck­ham, and scored 21 in­ter­na­tional goals.

He ap­peared at six ma­jor tour­na­ments, cap­tain­ing Eng­land at the 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

"I feel lucky to have ex­pe­ri­enced so many won­der­ful highlights over the course of my ca­reer," Ger­rard said."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.

"At an in­ter­na­tional level, I feel priv­i­leged to have won 114 Eng­land caps and to have had the hon­our of cap­tain­ing my coun­try. I will al­ways look back with great pride at ev­ery time I pulled on the Eng­land shirt.

"Ger­rard has been linked with a coach­ing role at Liver­pool, as well as Celtic and Newcastle United, where for­mer Liver­pool man­agers Bren­dan Rodgers and Rafael Ben­itez re­spec­tively work.

He is re­ported to have turned down an ap­proach from English third-tier side Mil­ton Keynes Dons and said he would take his time be­fore an­nounc­ing his next move.

"I am ex­cited about the future and feel I still have a lot to of­fer the game, in what­ever ca­pac­ity that may be," he said.

"I am cur­rently tak­ing my time to con­sider a num­ber of op­tions and will make an an­nounce­ment with re­gards to the next stage of my ca­reer very soon." — BBC Sport WORLD Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) ac­cred­ited doc­tor Ni­cholas Mun­y­onga will speak at a ple­nary ses­sion on in­jury pre­ven­tion and dop­ing at the Sports Lead­ers In­sti­tute of Zim­babwe (SLIZ) Sum­mer Camp which gets un­der­way in the East­ern High­lands re­sort of Nyanga to­day.

At least 350 par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing for­eign­ers are ex­pected to at­tend the camp which is viewed as a game changer in Zim­babwe’s sports land­scape.

Ni­cholas Mun­y­onga

Steven Ger­rard

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