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Steven Gerrard voted Liverpool’s greatest player

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Steven Gerrard voted Liverpool’s greatest player

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport
28/06/2020 at 14:55 | Updated 28/06/2020 at 22:34

Steven Gerrard has been voted as Liverpool’s best-ever player in the Eurosport Cup by readers.

In a week where the legends of a new batch of Liverpool greats were cemented, Steven Gerrard has been voted Liverpool’s greatest by Eurosport users.

The now Rangers manager came top of a poll that included luminaries such as Kevin Keegan, John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush, Bruce Grobbelaar and Alan Hansen – beating Kenny Dalglish in the final.

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The former captain made 504 league appearances for the club and scored 120 goals or 710 games in all competitions, scoring 186 goals in a Liverpool career that spanned 17 years and straddled eras of success. Gerrard was Liverpool’s talisman in an era dominated by Manchester United, and he was the catalyst for an era of success that did not live up to what came before and has since been superseded but Gerrard kept Liverpool relevant and successful as the club began to stagnate.

The Whitson man won two FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup during his time at the club, much of which as captain. A Premier League title remains an obvious and painful gap on his CV, but Gerrard was peerless in the middle of the last decade producing two legend-cementing performances in the Champions League final of 2005 and FA Cup final of 2006.

It was the Champions League final that defined his legacy, dragging, through sure force of will and talent, a team of limited quality all the way back from a three-goal deficit against a stacked AC Milan team to win the club a fifth Champions League final in a game Gerrard finished at right-back. That the win came under the cloud of repeated speculation over Gerrard's future speaks to a player of immense mental fortitude.

However, it would be remiss not to discuss Gerrard's legacy without reference to that slip against Chelsea in 2014 that ultimately cost the Reds a shot at a 19th title. The Liverpool captain, under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, had reworked his game to dictate at the base of the Reds' midfield to drive that side to unexpected tilt at the title. It would have been a fitting finish to a Liverpool career that was marked by success. Yet, it was not to be.

Gerrard will, however, always be indelibly linked to that 2005 Champions League win. It was the moment the Reds re-emerged as a European force after a decade and a half in the doldrums. That re-emergence seems fulfilled now that the Anfield club have finally claimed a first league title in 30 years to go along with a sixth European crown.

Gerrard's importance to it all has not been lost on Jurgen Klopp who said on Thursday night that Liverpool’s title win was built on Gerrard’s legs:

"It [the league win] is built, of course, on Shankly and Paisley and Fagan and all the others, but on these players.

Steven Gerrard – this club is built on, in the last 20 years, on Stevie’s legs.

"He had to carry all of the pressure on his shoulders and he did that exceptionally. I am really happy that we can deliver this title to him as well."

There are, of course, at a club of Liverpool’s ilk many players who can lay claim to being its greatest, none less than the man he beat in the final Dalglish. The Scot presided over an era as player and manager of near-unparallelled success but Klopp understands the importance of Gerrard: he sustained a great club as is struggled to return to greatness. That return now seems complete and Gerrard was crucial to that.

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