Steven Gerrard is arguably playing one of the best seasons in his career at Liverpool, but can he take his great club form to Brazil and lead England to World Cup glory.
In this week’s edition of our new World Cup Game Breakers feature Soccer Laduma argues why Steven Gerrard could be the main figure in an England squad, which has been written off by many experts and fans.
The 33-year-old spent his entire career at Anfield and made his first-team debut in 1998. He is the Reds’ captain since 2003 and has won two FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one UEFA Cup and the Champions League with the club.
His 13 goals and 11 assists this season have helped his side climb to the summit of the Premier League and he drives his team mates to win the Liverpool’s first Premier League title since 1990 – which would be the first league title in his career.
Gerrard made his international debut in 2000, and has since represented England at the 2000 and 2004 European Championships, as well as the 2006 World Cup, while he missed the 2002 World Cup due to injury.
At the 2010 World Cup he first captained England after regular captain, Rio Ferdinand, missed the tournament due to injury. He was named the permanent captain shortly before the 2012 EURO, where his performance earned him a space in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.
However, since Gerrard debuted for the national team, England have never reached further than the quarter-finals at a major tournament.
In 2012 he became England’s sixth player to reach 100 caps for the Three Lions, and with 109 games he is currently third in the country’s all-time appearance list.
He guided England through a tricky World Cup qualification campaign, which they finished unbeaten ahead of Ukraine, scoring two goals along the way.
In Brazil, England have been drawn in Group D with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Based on England’s inexperienced squad – ten of the 17 players in their last international were 25 or younger – many believe the Three Lions won’t survive the group stage, but if Gerrard might rally his troops like he does at Liverpool.
1998 World Cup winner, Zinedine Zidane, said about Gerrard: “Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of Messi and Ronaldo, but yes, I think he just might be.”
Can Steven Gerrard be the game breaker for England at the 2014 World Cup? Have your say in the comment section below.