Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Tribute to Steven Gerrard
Steven George Gerrard MBE ( /ˈdʒɛrɑrd/; born 30 May 1980 in Whiston, Merseyside, England) is an English footballer who plays for and captains Premier League club Liverpool. He also has 89 caps for the England national team. He has played much of his career in a centre midfielder role, but he has also been used as a second striker and right winger. Gerrard is best known for his tremendous long-range striking ability and has scored in numerous cup finals, including the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2006 FA Cup Final.
Gerrard, who has spent his entire career at Anfield, made his début in 1998 and cemented his place in the first team in the 2000–01 season, succeeding Sami Hyypiä as Liverpool team captain in 2003. His honours include two FA Cup wins, two League Cup wins, a UEFA Cup win, and a UEFA Champions League win in 2005. In 2005, Gerrard came third in the voting for Ballon d'Or, given to the top player in Europe.
Gerrard made his international debut in 2000 and has represented England at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, as well as the 2006 World Cup, where he was the team's top goalscorer with two goals. Gerrard is the current vice-captain of the England national football team. However, he captained his country at the 2010 World Cup in the absence of regular captain Rio Ferdinand who missed the tournament through injury.
Gerrard is widely regarded as one of the greatest English footballers ever. Gerrard came second only to Kenny Dalglish in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, a Liverpool F.C. fan poll. Zinedine Zidane said in 2009 that he considers Gerrard one of the best footballers in the world. In 2010, The Guardian named Gerrard to their World XI team, which compiled the greatest footballers of all-time onto one squad.
Gerrard primarily plays centre midfielder with attacking tendencies. Gerrard has also played on the right wing, as well as a second striker. Early in his career, Gerrard was known for his defensive abilities, but over time, he has become known for his scoring. Gerrard's strengths are his long-range shooting and his powerful shot. Many of Gerrard's most memorable goals are scored from a volley, a specialty of Gerrard. He is also a good passer, especially on long passes and overhead crosses from the wide area that set his teammates up for scoring chances. Gerrard has tremendous endurance and is rarely subbed out of games. Gerrard's tireless work in the attacking midfield leads his team to an abundance of opporitunities. However, Gerrard has been criticized by opposing teams and coaches for his lack of positional awareness and his tendency to leave opponents unmarked.