Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract extension at Anfield today, that could possibly see out the end of the talisman’s illustrious career at the club.
According to reports from BBC, talks had been going on between Gerrard’s agent and Liverpool’s managing director Ian Ayre, since the end of last season and finally both the parties have an agreement in place, with manager Brendan Rodgers desperate to sort out the future of the club-legend at the earliest.
A local boy, who came up through the youth ranks at the club, has given his blood and sweat for over 14 years for Liverpool and his new contract would take him past his 35th birthday.
An epitome of pride, passion and glory, Gerrard has conjured up so many majestic moments for this club that have become a sort of folklore – leaving simply indelible memories for any football lover, not to talk about those who bore the Liver-bird on their chest. Here, we are, walking down the memory-lane; let us recapitulate five of his most memorable moments for Liverpool.
Champions League Final, 2005 – Istanbul
“Captain’s goal – still time may be for impossible to happen here” – said the commentator on that famous night at Istanbul, after Gerrard’s magnificent header paved the way for a road to recovery against AC Milan. Trailing 3-0 down at half-time, no one, and yes no one, apart from those bunch of Kopites, who sang “You will never walk Alone” throughout, believed that a come-back is ever possible.
He sparked the belief among 10 dejected individuals on the pitch, injected the serum of inspiration into every Red heart that night instilled a belief that everything was not lost yet, and carried the team on his broad shoulders almost single-handedly, until the mission-impossible-triumph was accomplished.
That was probably one particular night that none of the Liverpool fans can forget, nor the skipper himself – it has to be the greatest ever moment of his sporting life.
FA Cup final, 2006
4 added minutes from the normal time. West Ham goal-keeper Shaka Hislop thought the danger was over after the ball was properly cleared to nearly 30-yards out. With chips down all around, tiring legs gasping for inspiration, surely it required some moments of genius to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Of course, it can be done, it was done, coz, the man was Steven Gerrard. Coz, that man with a no-8-jersey is a living legend. Coz, the man is a Genius.
What a strike that was! The power, the technique, the timing – was immaculate and Gerrard was once again the hero, leading the Reds to yet another cup glory.
Match winning strike against Olympiakos, 2005
Liverpool needed just one goal, just one strike to make it to the knock-out stages of the Champions League. With clock ticking away, Kopites were gripped with fear, tension and anxiety. The Jerusalem of football – Anfield – cried out for their hero – and the demi-God responded with a hammering strike that left the Kop in pandemonium.
More than the goal, it was the occasion that holds the centre stage. The moment and that particular moment define Steven Gerrard – cometh the hour, cometh the man. The one moment gave so much belief to the team that never looked back until they kissed the Holy Grail of Europe.
With Anfield reverberating like hell, giving a new definition to the word called “atmosphere”, even history of time stopped for a while to echo with Andy Gray “Oh, you beauty! What a hit son. What a hit!”
A magical afternoon at Old Trafford and a camera-kiss, 2008-09
That season was very special for the Red fans for more than one reason. Though, Liverpool didn’t win the title, but for the first time in many years, they were in the title race chasing Manchester United till the end. And they did a double, over their arch-rivals, which make the matter sweeter.
On a sunny afternoon, in a must-win-game, Liverpool were trailing by 1-0 when turn of the tide took place. First, a sheer moment of brilliance of Fernando Torres, restored parity, while towards the end of the half, Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool the lead for the first time in the match through a finely taken penalty.
The celebration was equally grand as well – a kiss on the badge and on the camera followed. Liverpool won by 4-1 but that moment was really a precious snapshot – the mighty Reds were in dreamland that afternoon.
Wonder striker against Middlesbrough, 2005
The match ended in a dull 1-1 draw. The result wasn’t of any importance to Liverpool. But, then one moment changed everything.
Picking up the ball on his chest of a diagonal delivery from John Arne Riise, Gerrard curled the ball in a breath-taking fashion, from 40-yards out, leaving Anfield fans in uproarious jollity.
The commentator said, “Those are the moments that Liverpool fans will remember forever”. He was absolutely on the money.
Obviously, there are so many wonderful moments from that great player that picking up top five is almost impossible. His debut, first ever goal, great free-kick against Aston Villa, his 100th goal for the club, goal against Manchester United in the League Cup final 2003, all the personal accolades, the list will go on and on. Probably what will remain with us forever are these priceless memories from a supremely gifted player of this generation. Mr, Liverpool, take a bow Son!