Real Madrid have apparently 'stepped up' their pursuit of the Liverpool and England Captain. The rumors claim that Real Madrid are willing to offer something around the 30 million GBP mark for the Scouse talisman.
With Liverpool in turmoil and more and more (annoying) people claiming that Steven Gerrard ought to have won more silverware in his career than staying with Liverpool for 11 odd years accorded him, it seems that the man's head has finally turned.
The latest statement sounded vaguely like he would perhaps consider a move to Real Madrid and win the silverware a man of his caliber deserves.
And who can blame him should he jump ship?
He's given his best years to Liverpool and gives some wonderful moments to the fans of the club he's supported as a young boy.
That header in the Champions League Final.
That thunder strike in the FA Cup final.
That penalty against that other Red team at their own home ground.
And so many other memories that the fans of Liverpool Football Club will bask in forever. In perhaps the twilight of his career, Gerrard has already immortalized himself in the hearts of the faithful Red supporters, coming in SECOND in the list of the '100 Players Who Shook the Kop.'
And it is for this master player that the money machine called Real Madrid is willing to pay 20 million GBP for. Sounds fair to me for a 30-year-old who probably will be at the top of his game for two years more. Liverpool's current financial position means that for 20 million GBP, they are willing to sell the heart of the club.
I could go at length to ramble on the travails of my beloved club, one of England's leading, but somewhat faltering football institutions. But what can I say that hasn't been said already?
Instead I'll focus on the Real Madrid side of this story.
Jose Mourinho has followed Gerrard like a stalker follows a celebrity. Mourinho’s not used to hearing the word no, but somehow, his advances have been rebuffed by the rather committed Steven Gerrard on two different occasions.
But this time, the vibes are different.
After a truly terrible season, Steven Gerrard went to this World Cup the way he went into the last one—confused about which club to play for in the next season.
On one hand there is Jose Mourinho, perhaps the best manager in the world, Real Madrid, the richest club in the world, and an array of stars which makes even Gerrard himself pale in comparison.
And on the other hand, there is his beloved Liverpool. The town that bore him, nurtured him, and made him the man who he is today. And with his lifelong idol Kenny Dalglish watching over him and the club, it seems like Gerrard is caught in a moral dilemma, so to speak.
But let’s be brutally honest here. At 30, Steven Gerrard is no longer something of prodigious talent.
He’s not got the pace he had before. He’s not the best dribbler.
Sure he can make the occasional crunching tackle here and there. He’s great with passes and set-pieces—I’ll give him that. And he’s got the odd thunderous shot on goal. Should he join Madrid and should Jose stick to his attacking diamond, Stevie will probably be playing at the lower tip of it—the Wesley Sneijder position. Which would seem to be the perfect position to ply his range of talent.
But unfortunately for Jose Mourinho, what makes Steven Gerrard the man that he is, is the passion which he plays with.
You can see it in his eyes when he plays for Liverpool and for his country. You can see it coursing through his limbs. Last season, it was more of desperation, but a passion to make a difference, a passion to change things that makes him special. That makes him the Kop’s favorite little lad.
And brought up on the sound family values which he has, Stevie is a committed man—someone who does not philander. Sure he might letch at that odd cleavage popping beauty at the bar, but he nevertheless remains a family man. Same with his football.
At the heart, he knows he’s still Liverpool.
He may jump the sinking Liverpool ship (Credits: Albert Riera) for a greener pasture. And I wouldn’t blame him for flinging his sweat-soaked armband at his bollocking employers and spending the last five to six years of his career at a club where he will no longer have to shoulder the heavy burden of his fans.
But it is his mind that he first needs to fight. Stevie’s lived at the Merseyside his whole life and starting anew, so late, so far away, is perhaps simply a monstrous thought for a man even of his strong disposition.
And will he be able to give his best to his new club? One only wonders if Steven Gerrard in the white of Madrid will be the same driven man without the Kop singing his name.
Hard to picture the scene where Stevie scores the goal and hugs a fan who in all probability might replicate his feelings in a different language, let alone a different accent, from the Scouse which he’s grown up hearing.