Steven Gerrard's Top 5 World Cup Moments

Rob PollardFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2014

Steven Gerrard's Top 5 World Cup Moments

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    For a nation such as England, where football is the national game and arguably the greatest domestic league in the world is played, their record at international level is rather poor. Since their only World Cup triumph in 1966, their fourth-place finish at Italia '90 remains their best showing.

    Steven Gerrard was a part of England's "Golden Generation" of players that many believed were capable of ending the country's wait for success at major tournaments. That didn't materialise, and the Golden Generation faded with a whimper.

    Gerrard has outlasted most of his contemporaries and remains a major figure in the current squad, captaining Roy Hodgson's side heading to this summer's event in Brazil.

    So what are Gerrard's five best World Cup moments?

Goal Against Trinidad and Tobago at 2006 World Cup

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    With the match against Trinidad and Tobago creeping toward full-time with the score at 0-0, late goals from Peter Crouch and Gerrard spared England's blushes and saw them progress to the round of 16.

    Gerrard's goal, a left-footed thunderbolt from the edge of the area that flew past Shaka Hislop, sparked excited scenes. England's relief was palpable; Gerrard once again delivering when needed. 

Goal Against Sweden at 2006 World Cup

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    England topped their group at the 2006 World Cup by securing a 2-2 draw with Sweden in Cologne.

    Gerrard had given them the lead with just five minutes remaining—a result which would have seen England move into the round of 16 with a 100 percent record—but Henrik Larsson's goal in injury time meant that England had to settle for a draw.

    Gerrard's goal was a header from a Joe Cole cross.

Goal Against USA at 2010 World Cup

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    Gerrard scored a vital goal in England's first match of the tournament at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, sliding the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard after just four minutes. It was the perfect start for Fabio Capello's men.

    An insipid display thereafter saw England fail to build on Gerrard's opener, and Clint Dempsey equalised thanks to a Rob Green howler. The match finished 1-1, a disappointing start for England, who went on to qualify from the group before losing 4-1 to Germany in the round of 16. 

Goal Against Germany in 5-1 Win

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    A night no England fan will ever forget: A 5-1 away win against Germany en route to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

    It was a truly memorable evening.

    Gerrard was central to the result—the most significant England had managed in years. Germany, who had only ever lost one World Cup qualifier on home soil, were taken apart.

    Carsten Jancker had given the hosts the lead, but England came roaring back. Michael Owen bagged an equaliser, before Gerrard's unstoppable 25-yard drive saw Sven-Goran Eriksson's side go in at half-time 2-1 up.

    It was Gerrard's through-ball which sent Owen free for his third and England's fourth of the night in the second-half.

    It was a result which sent shockwaves throughout world football. 

Handed England Captaincy for 2010 and 2014 World Cups

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    Captaining one's country is said to be one of the greatest honours in sport, and for Steven Gerrard, it became a reality at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

    With John Terry stripped of the England captaincy, Rio Ferdinand replaced him, and Fabio Capello made Gerrard his vice-captain. However, Ferdinand suffered an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup in South Africa, giving Gerrard the captaincy for the tournament.

    It's a role he continued into the qualifying campaign for the 2012 European Championships. When Roy Hodgson was appointed, Gerrard was confirmed as his choice to lead England. The Liverpool midfielder now heads to his second World Cup as captain of his country at this summer's event in Brazil.