Team-mates past and present laud ‘inspirational’ Steven Gerrard

Liverpool captain to leave club at the end of the season after 17-year playing career

Steven Gerrard's Liverpool team-mates paid tribute to their captain after he announced he is to leave the club at the end of the season.

Gerrard will depart Anfield after 17 years’ service in the summer when his contract expires.

Daniel Sturridge was among 23 current Reds players to pay tribute to the 34-year-old on the club's website on Friday morning.

The striker said: “Stevie will always be a legend — not just for Liverpool but to England as well. He will go down in history as one of the best midfielders in the game. He’s just unbelievable every day, a great leader and the perfect example for every young player around the country.”


Gerrard has often spoken highly of Raheem Sterling and the England forward thanked Gerrard for the role he has played in helping him settle in at Anfield.

“He has been brilliant for me,” Sterling said. “He’s always looking after me, always checking to see if I’m all right. He’s an inspiration and a great captain.”

Gerrard's midfield partner Jordan Henderson spoke highly of the 34-year-old and his "humble" personality. The Liverpool vice-captain said: "He is a top player but he is also a top person. The lads can go to him with anything and he will always help them out and put them first. That is massive as a captain. With the aura that he has got, he could be a different person but he is very humble."

Mario Balotelli paid tribute to Gerrard, likening him to his Italy team-mate Andrea Pirlo, who is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders in the country's history.

The Italian striker said: “Wow. I think of him as being at the same level as Pirlo. Vision, technique but he is powerful as well. Stevie can do anything, he’s an amazing player. It’s going to be very difficult for the team to find another player like him in the future.”

Dietmar Hamman, who was part of the 2005 Champions League winning Liverpool team, feels Gerrard has made the correct decision in leaving Anfield.

“An era comes to the end with SG leaving LFC,” the former Reds midfielder wrote on Twitter. “I think he made the right call. What a career,what a player.Thx for the many wonderful moments.”

Another of Gerrard's former team-mates Peter Crouch hailed the midfielder, who retired from international duty last summer.

“I’ve been fortunate to have played with some top players in my time but Stevie g is easily the best I have played with . #gerrard #LFC,” said the Stoke striker, who played alongside Gerrard at Liverpool for three years.

Ex-England striker Gary Lineker rates Gerrard as one of the best players in recent history even though he has never won the Premier League. "Seems Steven Gerrard is set to leave Liverpool at the end of the season. One of the finest players to have graced the PL. A top, top player," Lineker tweeted.

Toni Duggan, the England women and Manchester City women striker who is a big Liverpool fan, tweeted: "Gutted! A legend is a understatement, the greatest to ever pull on a red shirt.. MLS via city please?"