STEVEN GERRARD has ended speculation that he was set to be re-united with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic by announcing his retirement with immediate effect.
Now the former Liverpool and England captain will turn his attention to his role in the media, where he is a pundit on BT Sports and eventually a move into management. Gerrard earlier this week knocked back the chance to manager MK Dons so he is in no rush and plans to wait for the right opportunity before committing to a club.
Speaking to BT Sports earlier today Gerrard talked about his post retirement plans with the focus on punditry in the immediate future, before looking to management.
“I’d like to do a bit of both,” Gerrard revealed. “Now I’m really excited to get back to work with BT, covering the Champions League and the Premier League.
“That’s something I’d be looking forward to do when I return but in the future I definitely have dreams and aspirations of having a go at management or assisting a manager and being back involved in the dressing room. But I have got many, many years to do that.”
On his decision to call it a day in his hugely impressive playing career, the Liverpool legend had this to say:
“You are aware of this time coming towards the end. The body starts talking to you. The pains and the aches get more regular. The way you feel out there on the pitch changes. Over the last couple of years, I have felt myself slowing down a little bit and I basically can’t deliver what I used to be able to and that becomes a little bit frustrating as time goes on.
“And also I have listened to people over the years, important people in the game who I trust and have a lot of respect for have said to me ‘always go with a tiny bit left. Never over-stay your welcome and play on too long where it becomes embarrassing.’ I can feel that’s not too far away so I feel it is the right time.
“There wasn’t one moment but a period. The last three or four months at the Galaxy, I was getting too many injuries. I didn’t really feel as sharp as I used to. The games were becoming more challenging, especially in the altitude, heat and humidity. The travel was affecting me.
“It was more a period of time than one particular moment but having said that, I’ve had moments in the last six months where I’ve thought ‘I didn’t play well today’ or ‘that guy got the better of me’ and I don’t like saying that to myself.”
Gerrard was linked to Celtic during the international break but manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that despite expensive contact with his former captain while he was in the States, the two never discussed Gerrard joining up at Parkhead.
However Rodgers did reveal that he gets a text message for Gerrard after every Celtic victory so maybe Gerrard will visit Celtic Park to take in a game or two as the season progresses.
Here’s hoping Steven’s texting Brendan on Sunday afternoon.