Gerrard partnered Redknapp in central midfield for the 1999â€“00 season. After starting the derby match against Everton F.C. on the bench, he replaced Robbie Fowler in the second half but received his first career red card for a late foul on Everton’s Kevin Campbell.Later that season, Gerrard scored his first senior goal in a 4â€“1 victory over Sheffield Wednesworking day.However, he began to suffer from nagging back problems, which sports consultant Hans-Wilhelm MĂĽller-Wohlfarth later diagnosed as a result of accelerated growth, coupled with excessive playing, during his teenage years.He was then beset by groin injuries that needed four separate operations.
In 2000â€“01, he made fifty starts in all competitions and scored ten goals as Liverpool won the League Cup, FA Cup, and the 2001 UEFA Cup. Gerrard replaced Sami HyypiĂ¤ as Liverpool captain in October 2003, as manager GĂ©rard Houllier said that he recognised Gerrard had demonstrated leadership qualities early on, but needed to mature.He chose to extend his contract at the club, signing a fresh four-year deal.
Houllier quit after a trophyless 2003â€“04 campaign, and Gerrard was linked with a move to Chelsea F.C. during the offseason. He admitted he was not “happy with the progress [Liverpool] has made,” and that “for the first time in my career I’ve thought about the possibility of moving on.” In the end, Gerrard turned down a ÂŁ20 million offer from Chelsea to stay with Liverpool and new coach Rafael BenĂtez.
Gerrard taking a free kick for LiverpoolLiverpool were wracked with injury early in the 2004â€“05 season, and a foot injury suffered in a September league match against Manchester United shelved Gerrard until late November. He returned to score in the last five minutes of a Champions League group stage match against Olympiacos F.C. to secure Liverpool’s advancement to the knockout round.He claimed that this was his most important, if not his best, goal for Liverpool to date.However, Gerrard netted an own goal during the 2005 League Cup final on 27 February, which proved decisive in Liverpool’s 3â€“2 loss to Chelsea.
During a six-minute stretch in the second half of the 2005 Champions League final against A.C. Milan, Liverpool rebounded from a three-goal deficit to tie the match at 3â€“3 after extra time, with Gerrard scoring one of the goals. He did not participate in the penalty shootout, which Liverpool won 3â€“2 as they claimed their first CL trophy in twenty years, though he was named the Man of the Match, and later received the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award.
In regards to his contract issues with Liverpool, Gerrard told the press after the final, “How can I leave after a night like this?”But negotiations soon stalled and on 5 July 2005, after Liverpool turned down another lucrative offer from Chelsea, Gerrard rejected a club-list ÂŁ100,000-a-week offer. Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry conceded the club had lost Gerrard, saying, “Now we have to move on. We have done our best, but he has made it clear he wants to go and I think it appears pretty final.”The next day, Gerrard signed a new four-year deal as Parry blamed the earlier breakdown of talks on miscommunication between the two sides.
Gerrard scored twenty-three goals in 53 appearances in 2005â€“06, and in April became the first Liverpool player since John Barnes in 1988 to be voted the PFA Player of the Year. He scored twice in the 2006 FA Cup final against West Ham United, including an equalizer that sent the match into extra time, and Liverpool won their second consecutive major trophy on penalties. The goals made him the only player to have scored in the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals.Gerrard netted a penalty as Liverpool eliminated league rival Chelsea in the 2006â€“07 Champions League semi-finals to return to their second final in three seasons, which they lost 2â€“1 to Milan.
Gerrard during the 2006â€“07 seasonGerrard suffered a hairline toe fracture in an August 2007 Champions League qualifier against Toulouse F.C.but returned four days later to play the entirety of a 1â€“1 league draw against Chelsea.On 28 October 2007, Gerrard played his 400th game for Liverpool in a league match against Arsenal, in which he scored. He scored in all but one of Liverpool’s domestic and European matches during the month of November, and after scoring the only goal in a Champions League away tie against Olympique de Marseille on 11 December, he became the first Liverpool player since John Aldridge in 1989 to score in seven consecutive games in all competitions.
He made his 300th Premier League appearance on 13 April 2008 in a match against Blackburn Rovers, scoring the opening goal,and finished the season with twenty-two league goals, surpassing his total from the 2006â€“07 season. Gerrard was selected for the PFA Team of the Year and he was also one of the nominees for the PFA Player of the Year, alongside teammate Fernando Torres.
Gerrard needed to undergo groin surgery at the beginning of the season, but the problem was not serious and he briefly returned to training.He scored what appeared to be his hundredth career Liverpool goal against Stoke City FC on 20 September, but it was disallowed after Dirk Kuyt was ruled offside.He achieved the milestone eleven days later in a 3â€“1 Champions League group stage win over PSV Eindhoven.
|Height||6 ft 0 in|
|Date of Birth||30 May 1980|
|Place of Birth||Whiston, England|