One of Liverpool and England’s greatest ever footballers, Steven Gerard, has turned 33 which is really not good news for Liverpool fans who surely won’t be celebrating upon realizing that Captain Fantastic isn’t getting any younger.
The Whiston-born lad made his first-team Liverpool debut in November 29 1998 in a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers and has blossomed ever since raking in a total of 629 appearances and scoring 159 times for the Merseyside club, and still not out. Through these years, he’s won 13 trophies with Liverpool, the creme of them the 2005 UEFA Champions League, a year in which he also came close to winning the Ballon d’Or award but finished third behind Frank Lampard and winner Ronaldinho.
To celebrate the Kop idol’s birthday, thesteifmastertake digs out what his peers and managers have said about him over the years.
King Kenny Dalglish: "He is
probably the best player Liverpool ever produced."
Zinedine Zidane: "There are few extra abilities in Gerrard which I've tried to learn but failed.... Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of Messi and Ronaldo but, yes, I think he just might be. If you don't have a player like Steven Gerrard, who is the engine room, it can affect the whole team. He has great passing ability, can tackle and scores goals, but most importantly, he gives the players around him confidence and belief. You can't learn that - players like him are just born with that presence.''
Theiry Henry: "He gives his
100% in every match".
Arsene Wenger: "Usually any
team worry about an opponent's striker but when Gerard is in the field they
worry about him even more".
Diego Maradona: 'After the
Istanbul magic he won my heart".
Pele: "He is the only
English player who has complete footballing abilities".
Gary Neville: "Steven Gerrard is undoubtedly a world-class player and I wish he'd played for United.'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “I think Steven Gerrard is a fantastic player. He has been loyal to his club, he has won some big trophies with the club. He feels more an international player rather than a normal English player. English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but Gerrard, for me, feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player.”
Patrick Viera : "The best midfielder I would say is Steven Gerrard. I really rate him as a player and as a man. He is so powerful and strong. He can attack, he can defend and he can score."
Kaka: "England have always had individually strong players and I am a huge fan of Stevie Gerrard. He has the heart of a lion and is the icon of the modern footballer with his ability to attack and defend so well. He is the world's most complete modern player."
Alex Gerrard: "He’s a fantastic husband, a great dad and a brilliant ambassador for English football."
Brendan Rodgers: “Unfortunately, I can’t say that without him (Gerard) we would be all right, because I don’t believe we would. With each day that goes by, you see his real importance to the club. At 32 years of age, he still looks so fit and strong. You can see his influence on the team. As a captain, he’s been phenomenal.”
Alex Ferguson: “He has become the most influential player in England, bar none. Not that Vieira lacks anything, but Gerrard does more”
Carlo Ancelotti: “He is undoubtedly one of the best midfield players in the world.”
Daniele Di Rossi: "Gerrard has been my idol for 10 years and is one of the best players in the world. He is the example of what all midfield players aspire to. He is always there in the heat of the battle, leading by example. He is everywhere you look - in defence, in the middle of the pitch and in attack. I would love to be close to that level."
Jack Wilshere: "Steven is a great role model. He has been the heartbeat of Liverpool for years. He has also been the stand-out performer for England as well. He was someone I looked up to when I was younger. He has 100 caps for England. For any young midfielder he is someone to base your game on and try to be like him. If I can get anywhere near as good as him and drive the team forward like he does, then I will be happy."
Jamie Carragher: “We all know he’s in the upper echelons when it comes to Liverpool players, with most having him either first or second behind Kenny Dalglish, but when you look at a list of the greats to play in English football I’d say he is second only to Bobby Charlton in terms of the best midfielders there have ever been.”
John Barnes: “Player’s like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may grab all the plaudits as attacking players and are rightly named as some of the world’s best but if you are talking about a complete player, then there is no-one better than Gerrard.”
Happy Birthday Captain Fantastic!!
Happy Birthday Captain Fantastic!!
And That's thesteifmastertake!!