Steven Gerrard made 710 appearances for the Reds, making him a bona fide club legend and a man who is still adored by the club's devoted supporters.
He may not ever have won the Premier League title, but Gerrard left his indelible mark on plenty of grand football stages around the globe. His unforgettable display of leadership at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium lives in folklore, and justifiably so, after he helped drag his teammates back from the brink on arguably the greatest night in the club's illustrious history.
Some 16 years later and Milan fans still haven't recovered from the disappointment, nor do they quite believe what hit them. 3-0 up at halftime in the Champions League final and the Rossoneri players made the fatal mistake of celebrating in the changerooms. How they must regret that now.
Steven Gerrard had other plans for arguably the most star-studded Milan team of all time, a starting XI that boasted the likes of Dida, Cafu, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Kaká, Andriy Shevchenko, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo. His towering header looped beyond the giant frame of Dida in the Milan goal in the 54th minute and Liverpool had a lifeline. Vladimír Šmicer pulled another one back two minutes later, and the miraculous comeback was complete when Gerrard won a penalty which Xabi Alonso slotted home on the rebound after it was initially saved. We were all square at 3-3 with half an hour of the 90 still to play.
There was still time for some goalkeeping heroics from Jerzy Dudek, too, who miraculously denied Andriy Shevchenko with the goal gaping in added time after extra time. The contest went to penalties and the rest, as they say, is history. A truly astonishing comeback, the likes of which we are unlikely to ever see again. Gerrard made a habit of producing Champions League heroics when his club needed him most, remember this strike against Olympiakos?
🏆 The "Gerrard" Final in the 2006 FA Cup
2-0 down after 28 minutes against West Ham and things weren't looking good for the Reds at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. But we've seen this movie before with Steven Gerrard, who supplied a chance for Djibril Cissé. The Frenchman duly took it and Liverpool was back in it on 32 minutes.
Gerrard volleyed home a knock-down from Peter Crouch to make it 2-2 in the 54th minute (clearly Gerrard had a personal agenda against the number 54 because that's when he scored his header against Milan a year prior).
Steven Gerrard vs. West Ham, 2006, FA Cup Final.— Club Fútbol. | ‘90+1 (@ClubFutbolStore) December 10, 2020
Rafa Benítez needed his captain's heroics again after West Ham retook the lead with half an hour to play, and Stevie G delivered in style with one minute of stoppage time elapsed. The showpiece went to penalties, Gerrard scored his spot-kick and The Reds won the cup.
🦁 Stevie G: The ultimate Premier League midfielder
Ask any Premier League manager what they want from their midfielders, and Steven Gerrard could deliver all of those things. The versatility that he showed in the early stages of his career ultimately helped him become the complete midfield dynamo. This was a guy who scored goals, made goals, imposed himself on opponents with tough tackles and led vocally and by example.
Welcome back, Steven Gerrard 🙌 pic.twitter.com/i7Ezy7n7hB— Premier League (@premierleague) November 11, 2021
📈 Stevie G's best moments
Gerrard scored screamers on a regular basis and they often arrived at clutch moments. THAT arrowing effort on the half-volley against Olympiakos in stoppage time sent Liverpool to the knockout stages in the 2004-05 season, and we all know what happened next...
There was the long-range pile-driver against West Ham in Cardiff, the towering header in Istanbul and so many more magical moments from which to choose.
How good was Steven Gerrard?! 🤯pic.twitter.com/kOYIbDjNG6— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) November 17, 2021
📈 Gerrard's Liverpool career: Tale of the tape
- 🏟 710 appearances
- ⚽️ 185 goals
- 🅰️ 150 assists
- 🏆 11 trophies
When Stevie G brought his Aston Villa side back to a stadium he knew like the back of his hand, some 23 years after his playing debut for Liverpool on November 29th, 1998, it was an emotional afternoon.
He even got a hero's reception from some of the most passionate fans on the planet.