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Gerrard to leave Liverpool at end of season

Gerrard to leave Liverpool at end of season
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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard announced Friday he was leaving the club at the end of the season and would be heading abroad, in what he said was the “toughest decision of my life”. The 34-year-old midfielder has captained the Reds for 12 years and never played for another club, winning the Champions League, two FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup among other honours. 

“I’m going to carry on playing and although I can’t confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool, that is something I could never contemplate,” Gerrard told the club’s official website.

Amid speculation that he might take a coaching role at Anfield in the future, the former England captain said: “It is my sincere hope and wish that one day I can return to serve Liverpool again, in whatever capacity best helps the club.” Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner said there would always be a place for the club for a player whose contribution was  “almost beyond measure”.

Manager Brendan Rodgers added: “This is an era where the word ‘legend’ is vastly overused, but in his case it actually doesn’t do him justice. As a leader and as a man, he is probably incomparable to anyone I have ever worked with. He takes professionalism to a new level and the dedication he has to his work is an example to everyone in the game.”

Gerrard’s career at Liverpool had been the subject of speculation for several months. Despite his extraordinary achievements, he has also suffered agonising near-misses, never laying his hands on the EPL trophy and enduring nothing but heartbreak in 14 years with England. “This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time. I am making the announcement now so the manager and the team are not distracted by stories or speculation about my future. Liverpool Football Club has been such a huge part of all our lives for so long and saying goodbye is going to be difficult, but I feel it’s something that’s in the best interests of all involved, including my family and the club itself,” he said.
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