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Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard brings down curtain on Anfield career - for now


 
 

Steven Gerrard's exit from Liverpool will not be permanent, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.

The captain, 34, will make his final Anfield appearance on Saturday when the Reds host Crystal Palace (17:30 BST).

He is joining LA Galaxy in the USA's Major League Soccer (MLS) this summer.

"He's somebody I'd love to have working with me when he has finished playing. That opportunity for him to come back will be there for as long as I'm here," said Rodgers.

His former boss, Gerard Houllier will be among the crowd for Gerrard’s 354th and final Anfield appearance against Crystal Palace today and it is worth rewinding to November 2002 for a piece of advice the former Liverpool manager dispensed at a delicate stage in the midfielder’s career.
 
“Stay out of nightclubs now and you can buy one when you finish playing,” said Houllier, unaware at the time that Gerrard’s loss of focus stemmed from his parents’ divorce. He may not own the nightclub, and certainly wishes he had avoided a few more in the intervening years, but as he prepares to head off to California coast with worldwide respect, 10 trophies and more than 700 appearances for his boyhood club for baggage, he can have few regrets.

The absence of a Premier League winner’s medal is his biggest lament, of course. It is the only silverware available at club level that Gerrard never got his hands on, a fact he will never be allowed to forget. But that space in the trophy room, that slip, lends a fitting poignancy to the Liverpool captain’s career. Everyone who has covered Gerrard and his repeated acts of escapology will have resorted at some point to a superhero analogy, and a superhero is never without flaws.

KJ

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