Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from professional football, ending speculation of a short-term stint in the Hyundai A-League.
The 36-year-old revealed this month he would not remain at Major League Soccer franchise LA Galaxy beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2016 season.
The midfielder, who swapped Anfield for the StubHub Center in 2015, has been linked with a variety of clubs including in Australia and management roles since the news of his impending departure from the United States.
But the Champions League and FA Cup winner has now confirmed he will not seek another playing role.
Gerrard last played in Australia at the start of this year for a Liverpool Legends selection in Sydney.
And in 2013, he lead the Reds out at the MCG in front of over 95,000 fans in a friendly against Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory.
Gerrard’s career will live long in Reds fans’ memories.
He featured in the Reds’ memorable treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2000-01, winning the League Cup again in 2002-03 and then replacing Sami Hyypia as the club’s captain in October 2003.
Gerrard will be fondly remembered for his role in guiding Liverpool to the final of the Champions League against AC Milan in 2005, helping to orchestrate a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down at half-time to draw 3-3 and then win on penalties.
He scored twice, including a long-range equaliser in injury time, as Liverpool beat West Ham in a shootout after another 3-3 draw in the 2005-06 FA Cup final. Just one more major trophy followed, the 2011-12 League Cup under Kenny Dalglish.
Gerrard may well be haunted by the memory of a slip to give away a goal in a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea in 2013-14, a mistake and a result that led an exciting team managed by Brendan Rodgers to miss out on the club’s best chance to win the Premier League during the crowd favourite’s Merseyside career.
Liverpool and Gerrard also finished second, four points behind Manchester United, with Rafael Benitez at the helm in 2008-09.
Gerrard largely endured disappointment on the international stage, reaching the knockout stages of the European Championship in 2004 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2006 and 2010 without advancing to a final.
He captained the team to a group-stage exit from the most recent World Cup, calling time on his international career in July 2014 after England’s swift return from Brazil.