Steven Gerrard is in Cardiff, doing what he does best ahead of the Champions League final.
The Liverpool legend, who lifted the trophy on that memorable night in Istanbul in 2005, will be providing punditry on the game as part of BT Sport’s coverage of the final between Real Madrid and Juventus.
But before then, he’s been showing that he’s definitely still got it on the pitch.
Gerrard, along with Jamie Carragher and Steve McManaman, featured for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side in a 3-0 post-season friendly win over Sydney FC last week, and he’s been back on the pitch again today, this time playing for BT Sport All Stars in a game against Hashtag United on a floating pitch on Cardiff Bay.
And the former Liverpool and England skipper scored this wonderful goal from kick-off:
— Anything Liverpool (@Anything_LFC) June 2, 2017
Vintage Gerrard, that. You almost sorry for those who have had to come up against him in today’s five-a-side game.
Even in a small-sided game, the strike harks back memories of the numerous worldies Gerrard served up in his glittering career.
To celebrate his 37th birthday a few days back, we picked out eight:
vs Sheffield Wednesday – 1999/2000
We start with Gerrard’s very first goal in professional football, which came in a 4-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday at Anfield. A young Gerrard collected the ball in midfielder and danced around a couple of Wednesday defenders before slamming home.
vs Manchester United – 2000/2001
Now a regular in the Liverpool side, Gerrard scored the first of many goals against Manchester United in a 2-0 win at the back-end of the 2000/2001 season. After Robbie Fowler flicked the ball in his path, Gerrard, wearing the No.17 shirt, smashed in an absolute belter in the top corner, giving Fabian Barthez absolutely no chance. Gerrard made fifty starts in all competitions that season as Liverpool claimed the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
vs Middlesbrough – 2004/2005
Another one of the 36-year old’s sweetest strikes came in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in 2005. With Liverpool trailing to Middlesbrough, the ball found its way to Gerrard 35 yards out from goal. The captain chested and controlled before walloping the ball into the top corner with a spectacular strike. A Typical Gerrard goal.
vs Everton – 2001/2002
Travelling back in time, Gerrard was instrumental in a Merseyside derby win for Liverpool back in September 2001. With Liverpool a goal down after an early opener from Kevin Campbell, Gerrard levelled matters in the 11th minute. When a tame header led to the ball dropping to him on the edge of the box, Gerrard delightful dropped his shoulder before arrowing one into the far corner.
vs Olympiakos 2004/05
One of Gerrard’s most famous thunderbastards. Liverpool conceded early on in this Champions League cracker which meant they needed three goals to advance to the Champions League knockout stage on goal difference. Goals from Florent Sinama Pongolle and Neil Mellor gave them a chance going into the latter stages of the game, and Gerrard took it upon himself to deliver the goal that every Liverpool fan desired, catching a venomous drive on the half volley to send Anfield into a frenzy. Liverpool would go on to win their fifth European Cup that season. As for this goal, that Andy Gray commentary will live on forever and the goal is so good, you can even watch it on loop for 10 minutes.
vs Newcastle – 2007/08
Gerrard regularly tormented Newcastle when he came up against the Magpies and scored one of his greatest goals against them at St James’ Park in 2007. Lucas Leiva rolled the free-kick into his path and Gerrard did the rest, lashing home an unstoppable shot that caused the net to ripple. The sheer ferocity of the strike was ridiculous.
Incidentally, the goal took place exactly nine years before Gerrard would hang up his boots.
vs Manchester City – 2012/2013
He was getting on a bit at this point, but his knack of scoring worldie goals from distance was still very much there. In a thrilling 2-2 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Gerrard banged one in from 30 yards out after a clearance from Gael Clichy fell into his path. Here Gerrard demonstrated his unparalleled ability to hit the ball with such power and precision.
vs West Ham – 2005/06
It’s only right to end with this one. The goal epitomises what Gerrard is all about, coming up with big moments in big games when his team are looking for inspiration.
In so many instances, he has dragged Liverpool through the muck and the FA Cup final against West Ham in 2006 was arguably the best example of his match-winning qualities. He had already scored in the 54th minute to make the score 2-2 but after Paul Konchesky put West Ham back in front, he saved the game for Liverpool in the dying embers when he blasted the ball past Shaka Hislop from 35 yards. The Reds would go on to beat the Hammers 3-1 on penalties, with Pepe Reina saving three spot-kicks.