England manager Roy Hodgson and Liverpool legend Ian Rush have lavished praise on Anfield captain Steven Gerrard after the England skipper was honoured at the Football Writers’ Association gala, reports Sky
The 32-year-old was given the FWA Tribute Award for outstanding contributions to the national game. He won his 100th England cap in November 2012, and Rush and former Liverpool manager Hodgson moved to make their thoughts on the veteran heard.
Hodgson praised Gerrard’s commitment to the Three Lions, as well as to Liverpool, where the player has spent the entirety of his career so far. He said: “Since I have taken over the national team he has been outstanding, not only as captain but as a player.
“For someone who has had such a good career, such a long career, to win 100 caps and play so many games for Liverpool, his only club where he was born and raised as a footballer, is a fantastic achievement.
“We see less and less of that type of player these days and I think Steven has all the attributes of a top-class footballer but also a top-class professional and a top-class person. It is an honour really to work with him.”
Rush, who scored 229 in 469 appearances for the Reds across two spells, was keen to highlight Gerrard’s role in the 2005 Champions League final as one of greatness. In that match, Liverpool trailed 3-0 at half time against Milan before recovering to make the scoreline 3-3. The Reds faithful were euphoric minutes later as they claimed the trophy in a penalty shootout.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic. It is a joy to watch someone like Steven play,” said Rush, who is Wales’ all-time record goal scorer.
“Going back to the Champions League Final in Istanbul, he was the main man that orchestrated that. He scored the first goal and gave everyone belief they could do that. He also scored important goals in FA Cup finals.
“People say who would get into the (Liverpool) team of the 80s that won everything and for me, scoring goals like that, Gerrard would walk into any Liverpool side of any era.”
Gerrard, who almost joined Chelsea in a very public transfer saga before opting to remain in the North West in 2004, has scored 94 goals in 428 appearances for Liverpool so far.
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