Sir Alex Ferguson (in 2005): If you were looking for the player you would replace Keane with, it would be Gerrard, without question. He has become the most influential player in England, bar none. Not that Vieira lacks anything, but Gerrard does more. He’s got that unbelievable engine, desire, determination. Anyone would love to have Gerrard in their team.
Steven Gerrard remains the epitome of loyalty in football. Prior to his transfer to MLS outfit LA Galaxy, the former Liverpool skipper gave his best years to the Anfield based club. Gerrard is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the history of Liverpool football club. The Englishman has had a massive impact at the club since making his debut in 1998 and it is now unthinkable how the Merseyside giants would have done if they had missed out on a leader as good as Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard commands respect for his loyalty and contribution to the club. He is definitely one of the biggest legends of the Premier League era and will be remembered for decades to come. Here are the tributes and quotes about the former Reds captain from the renowned managers and players:
Quotes by managers on Steven Gerrard
Jose Mourinho: This is my time to honour a champion. It is my time to honour Steve Gerrard. It is with opponents like him that I am the manager that I am, because I learn with my players and I learn with my best opponents. I learn with my players’ problems, my players’ doubts, my players’ qualities and I learn with my best opponent, with the problems they give me – the way they make me think, the way they make me analyse them and studying the best way to play against them. Steven Gerrard is for sure one of my favourite enemies – an enemy with all the good feeling I can express with that word in football. For sure, in England he is my dear enemy. For sure, he is the one that made me a better manager. To stop him or try and stop him has been very, very difficult. I tried to bring him to Chelsea, I tried to bring him to Inter, I tried to bring him to Real Madrid but he was always a dear enemy. I want to honour him and I hope Stamford Bridge has the same feeling as I have, which is we need people like him as our opponents.
Carlo Ancelotti: He is undoubtedly one of the best midfield players in the world.
Sven-Goran Eriksson: An all-round midfielder who can do anything and everything.
Guus Hiddink (in 2009): Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi or Xavi from Barcelona deserved the Ballon d’Or more. Ronaldo is only focused on finishing in front of goal. I love Gerrard’s qualities as a player and a leader. Technically and tactically he is the best. His passion is enormous, he means as much for a great team as George Best. He is a player who fans can identify themselves with and a man who carries the love for his club on his club badge. There is not another player in the world who combines all those qualities. I like him so much more than Ronaldo.
Arsene Wenger: For me he was an absolutely fantastic player. He has remained loyal to his club for his whole career and we don’t see that a lot, especially that kind of quality of player.
Graham Taylor: He is, in my opinion, the best midfielder in the world, and has a track record for delivering on the big occasions.
Gerard Houllier: He is a natural born leader, a very inspirational leader. He is somebody you want to follow. Stevie is Liverpool.
Harry Redknapp: A Roy of the Rovers character. It’s surprising to me how often people have used this tag as a criticism of Steven Gerrard and his all-action playing style. He wants to be everywhere…he deserts his position…he can’t play in the middle because he’ll leave a gap. What nonsense. Roy Race was a comic book hero and Steven Gerrard is a real-life one.
Rafa Benitez: He was a massive part of Liverpool winning the Champions League because he was a leader by example.
Kenny Dalglish: He’s a fantastic statesman; he has been unbelievably successful with this football club with what he’s done, the amount of games he has pulled out the mire, and the general way he conducts himself.
Brendan Rodgers: He’s the best player I have worked with in terms of football mentality.
Quotes by players on Steven Gerrard
Cesc Fabregas: I would pay to watch Steven Gerrard.
Alessandro Nesta: One of my toughest but most sporting opponents. An example on and off the pitch.
Iker Casillas: He’s been a reference to all his team-mates throughout the years and is now in history for such a brilliant career at his club for all his life.
Cristiano Ronaldo: It was a pleasure to play against Steven Gerrard.
Francesco Totti: Gerrard is a complete player because he can play in every position and can do everything with a football at any time in a game. He’s a player who scores goals, who builds the play, he’s a sensational player. Steven Gerrard would be the captain of my World XI dream team.
Wayne Rooney (on the best player he has played with for England): I’d have to say Stevie [was the best]. For me he’s an incredible player, an incredible leader. He helped me a lot during my early days with England.
Michael Owen: There are some who argue Gerrard cannot be rated so highly because he does not have the medal haul to compare with, say, the Manchester United players. It is preposterous to judge a player’s ability based on his trophy collection. There are dozens of players who have several Premier League winners’ medals who are not fit to lace Gerrard’s boots.
Zinedine Zidane: Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of (Lionel) Messi and Ronaldo but yes, I think he just might be.If you don’t have a player like Steven Gerrard, who is the engine room, it can affect the whole team. He has great passing ability, can tackle and scores goals, but most importantly he gives the players around him confidence and belief. You can’t learn that — players like him are just born with that presence.
Luis Suarez (in 2014): Gerrard is the best player I’ve ever played with
Kaka: An excellent player, in my opinion, he is a modern player because he is a player who runs, marks, knows how to pass, cross, score goals and he is a leader on the field for Liverpool. So he is a player that I would like to have in my team. He has the heart of a lion and is the icon of the modern footballer with his ability to attack and defend so well.
Pele: Gerrard is an excellent player, absolutely world-class. If I was a manager, everywhere I went I would buy Steven Gerrard. He is always looking forward and has a big heart.
Andrea Pirlo: He is an excellent passer of the ball, possesses an intelligent football brain, and has great vision.
Jamie Carragher: He’s one of those rare players who can turn a good team into European champions.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I think Steven Gerrard is a fantastic player. He has been loyal to his club, he has won some big trophies with the club. He feels more an international player rather than a normal English player. English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but Gerrard, for me, feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player. Every time we play against Steven, the coach always says to be careful with that player because he is the player who makes the difference.
Fernando Torres: He is without doubt the greatest player I have ever played with, he has everything. At Liverpool, he is irreplaceable. Every big club has a standard bearer, a home-grown talent, someone with a lifelong commitment to the cause. People come and go but he’s always there. It’s him and 10 others. He’s everything to the side. That’s Steven Gerrard at Liverpool. I can’t even begin to imagine the place without him. Steven Gerrard would be the captain of my World XI dream team.
John Aldridge: He is a one off, he is the best player in Liverpool history in my opinion.
Paolo Maldini: His story is one of those stories to be told, one of those fairytales – just like it happened to me – to be narrated to your children and grandchildren.
Daniel de Rossi: Gerrard has been my idol for 10 years and is one of the best players in the world. He is the example of what all midfield players aspire to. He is always there in the heat of the battle, leading by example. He is everywhere you look – in defence, in the middle of the pitch and in attack. I would love to be close to that level.
Graeme Souness: I was fortunate enough to have played in some of the great Liverpool teams, teams that dominated Europe and won everything, but I can honestly say that Steven Gerrard would have gotten into any of those teams.
Andriy Shevchenko: A world-class midfielder, Gerrard loves to lead by example and is famous for his never-say-die attitude. He loves to run at and beat defenders, and is blessed with a powerful and precise shot.
Patrick Vieira: I heard what Alex Ferguson said about him being better than me. He’s probably right.
Landon Donovan: When I played at Everton, Everton fans hate Liverpool players and Liverpool fans, but Steven Gerrard is the one player everybody had respect for on both sides. Everybody in the Premier League has so much respect for him.
Thierry Henry: I find it a disgrace that he didn’t win European Footballer of the Year in 2005 after Istanbul. For me, he is one of the best ever. “Whenever you play Liverpool you know you have to get him out of the game. If not, it’s all over for you. “He’s a midfielder and if you look at all the important goals he’s scored – well I can’t even think of a striker in the world who has scored as many important goals, never mind a midfielder. How many times has he done it in the dying seconds of a game? I am trying to think of a striker now who does it – there aren’t any. Think about it.
David Villa: I really love Steven Gerrard. He is someone I have a real soft spot for. He has everything. I love the way he plays. He’s an inspirational leader, he scores goals, he plays great passes, he runs powerfully, he tackles… everything. Stevie is just brilliant – the complete player.
Ronaldinho: For me, in the position he plays, he is one of the very best in the world. For the job he performs, for me he is one of the greatest.
Tim Cahill: He’s one of the most influential players on the pitch that I’ve ever seen. He can change a game in an instant
Xabi Alonso: My Hero. My Mate. He’ll absolutely be remembered as one of the greats; for me, he is already one of them. There are so many things [that are good about Steven Gerrard]. He is so inspirational. In the key moments he has that difference – a spark that is difficult to define.
Claudio Marchisio: In my own position, I was crazy about [Steven] Gerrard. I remember in the Champions League final comeback by Liverpool against AC Milan, you saw him up front, on the wings, and a moment later he was back, marking the playmaker, I have never seen such a complete midfielder.
Mario Balotelli: I think of him as being at the same level as Pirlo. Vision, technique, but he is powerful as well. Stevie can do anything. It’s going to be very difficult for the team to find another player like him in the future.