Steven Gerrard: Top 6 England Moments for Three Lions and Liverpool Captain
It’s been an eventful 2014 for Steven Gerrard so far, skippering Liverpool to an impressive 11-match winning run and an exciting title challenge. And as the dust settles on the exhilarating Premier League campaign, Gerrard is about to lead England into the World Cup this summer in Brazil as captain of the Three Lions.
He will be coming up against club colleague Luis Suarez when England face Uruguay in the World Cup group stage, with Italy and Costa Rica rounding off a challenging Group D, as the Three Lions attempt to banish their perennial quarterfinal woes.
The World Cup will be Gerrard’s third major tournament as captain for his country, and likely his last, while there have been calls for the Reds skipper to retire from international duty after the summer.
Let’s take a look back on Steven Gerrard’s top six moments with his country so far.
2000: A Well-Deserved First Cap
On the back of his first full season in the Liverpool first team, where he showed encouraging potential, Gerrard was handed a first England cap by then-coach Kevin Keegan.
It came in a friendly match on May 31, 2000, against Ukraine that the Three Lions ended up winning 2-0.
Gerrard had just turned 20, but even he wouldn’t have foreseen his England legacy in years to come.
2001: A Glorious First Goal
Ask England fans about their most memorable results of all time and their 5-1 rout of Germany on September 1, 2001, will likely figure.
All of England’s goalscorers on the night were Liverpool players: Michael Owen hit a hat-trick and Emile Heskey finished neatly, but Gerrard’s glorious 20-yard screamer was the pick of the bunch.
It was also his first for his country and set him on his way to becoming an impressive goalscorer from midfield for England.
2004: Skippering His Country for the First Time
As Gerrard continued to mature and develop his game, he took over the Liverpool captaincy from Sami Hyypia, and Sven-Goran Eriksson began to realize his leadership potential.
On March 31, 2004, Eriksson gave Gerrard the captain’s armband of his country for the first time, in a friendly against Sweden.
Much as he would eight years later on his 100th appearance for England, however, he was overshadowed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored the winner in a contest that went 1-0 to Sweden.
2012: There’s Life in the Old Dog Yet
2012 was a productive year in England colors for Gerrard.
On May 16, he was named the permanent England captain, having filled in as skipper on many occasions previously but never on a permanent basis.
The Euro 2012 campaign that came shortly after was his first leading his country into a major tournament as permanent captain. (He had been England skipper in the 2010 World Cup, but only due to Rio Ferdinand having sustained an injury ahead of the tournament.)
In three group stage matches, Gerrard provided three assists and was named man of the match in two of them, and he finished the tournament as England’s only representative in UEFA’s official Team of the Tournament.
2012: Hitting the Century
England were the visitors in a November 14, 2012, friendly to mark the opening of Sweden’s new Friends Arena, and the stage was set for Roy Hodgson’s men to usher in a new generation.
Making their Three Lions debuts that night were Steven Caulker, Leon Osman, Raheem Sterling, Ryan Shawcross, Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha, and leading them out was Gerrard on his 100th appearance for England.
A wonderful landmark occasion—to be spoiled once again by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored that audacious overhead kick in a four-goal virtuosic performance that saw Sweden run out 4-2 winners.
2013: Sealing World Cup Qualification
October 15, 2013.
England were one goal up against a vibrant Poland side at Wembley, needing a win from their final World Cup qualifier to secure the top spot in Group H ahead of this summer’s tournament.
On 88 minutes, Gerrard popped up with the all-important second goal, a poked finish from a trademark driving run from midfield, to settle England nerves and spark celebrations around the country.
Another inspirational moment from Gerrard as England captain. His country will need him to produce such moments if they are to deliver in Brazil this year.