Steven Gerrard retires from professional football

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The 36-year-old calls time on a 19-year career which featured 710 appearances for Liverpool, 114 for England and eight major trophies, including a Champions League win.

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Steven Gerrard has confirmed his retirement from professional football.

The 36-year-old calls time on a 19-year playing career, having made his debut for Liverpool on November 29, 1998, and opted against extending his contract with the MLS side earlier this month.

Gerrard played 710 times for the Reds and won eight major trophies, including the Champions League in 2005, before moving to America in the summer of 2015.

“Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football,” Gerrard said in a statement.

“I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.

“As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, and when I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998 I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years.

“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career. 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.

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He continued: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone at Liverpool Football Club. I am proud to have played for and captained Liverpool for so many years and to have achieved what we achieved during my time at the club.

“I was lucky to play alongside some great players and under some fantastic managers during my time at Anfield and would like to thank each and every one of them, as well as all of the backroom staff at the club throughout my time there for the fantastic support they showed me.

“I would like to say a special thank you to Steve Heighway, Dave Shannon and Hugh McAuley for believing in me when I was making my way at Liverpool and for giving me the platform to go on and fulfil my dreams.

“Thank you to the amazing fans of Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy for the incredible backing you have given me throughout my career. Your loyalty and support has meant the world.

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“I would like to thank Struan Marshall, my agent throughout my career, and the team at Wasserman for all of their support over the past 18 years.”

Gerrard made 114 appearances for England, leaving him as the fourth most-capped senior player, with his first cap coming in May 2000 and his last as captain as England played Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup.

In total, Gerrard captained his country at three of the six major tournaments he competed in.

He added: “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.

“I feel very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had but none of it would have been possible without the support of so many people.”

Gerrard recently interviewed for the vacant managerial role at MK Dons while Goal understands talks over a coaching role with the Liverpool academy continue.

Gerrard is keen to earn a role at his boyhood club rather than be awarded one of status and Alex Inglethorpe, director of the club’s youth setup, believes Gerrard would prove a valuable asset.

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The former midfielder was most recently seen as a pundit on BT Sport and confirmed an announcement on his next career move is imminent.

“Finally, the most important thank you; to my family,” he concluded. “I cannot thank my Mum, Dad and brother Paul enough for their unconditional support over the years, it has meant everything to me. To my wife Alex and children Lily, Lexie and Lourdes, thank you for the constant love and support you’ve shown me. You’ve been there throughout both the good times and the bad and without you nothing would have been possible. Thank you for everything.

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

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