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Steven Gerrard makes right call in ending a remarkable Liverpool career

The 34-year-old was one of the world’s best players at his peak but his influence on his boyhood club has been in deterioration for some time
Steven Gerrard confirms Liverpool exit at end of season – live reaction!

The first thing to say about Steven Gerrard is simply this: he has been a tremendous captain and player for Liverpool. Yes, the deterioration has been sharp and it might be that, deep down, he will acknowledge he has never shaken last season’s ordeal out of his system. Or, indeed, what happened in the World Cup when the lingering memory for those of us in the England press corps came on the final morning, in a windowless room at the Urca training centre, as he slumped in his chair, wearing a week’s worth of stubble and staring into the distance. He was “hurting bad, broken”. It may be that he is still carrying that with him.

Gerrard has always been tremendously hard on himself and it will have pained him that his deterioration has been so obvious. He is 35 on his next birthday, on the date of the FA Cup final, and plainly that is not an impossible age to continue for Liverpool when we see Frank Lampard, 23 months his senior, still excelling in Manchester City’s colours. Yet Sir Alex Ferguson once described Lampard as a “freak” because of the way he barely missed a match and applied the same word to explain Ryan Giggs’s longevity. Gerrard has a different playing style: the all-action hero, the leader, the man who would throw himself into tackles and take it upon himself to try to grab a game by its lapels. And age catches up with even the greatest in the end.

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