England manager Roy Hodgson has today announced the appointment of Steven Gerrard as captain of the national team.
It’s the second time the honour has been bestowed on the Liverpool midfielder, who made his first appearance for the Three Lions in a friendly against Ukraine on May 31st, 2000. For the record, Kevin Keegan’s side won 2-0 under the old Twin Towers.
Over the next 12 years, Gerrard has managed to rack up 90 appearances for his country, scoring 14 goals along the way in both friendly and competitive matches.
GMF remembers the 31-year-old’s finest moments for his country ahead of this summer’s trip to Poland and Ukraine…
Germany 1-5 England
1st September, 2001
World Cup qualifier; Olympic Stadium
One of the great nights in English football history, when Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side produced a stunning display in Munich to move onto the cusp of World Cup qualification.
And it was Gerrard who scored the goal of the game, crucially putting the visitors 2-1 up on the stroke of half-time with a long-range effort that flew into the bottom corner past Oliver Kahn.
Carsten Jancker had put the hosts 1-0 up on six minutes, but a hat-trick from Michael Owen and Emile Heskey’s neat finish moved England to the top of Group Nine and on the road to Japan and South Korea.
Sweden 1-0 England
31st March, 2004
Friendly; Nya Ullevi Stadium
A relatively unspectacular match, but one Gerrard will remember fondly after Eriksson handed him the armband for the first time.
In a team that contained Jonathan Woodgate, Nicky Butt and Alan Thompson, England went down to defeat on their travels, losing to a 54th minute strike from maverick striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich.
Gerrard left the pitch in the second period, handing the armband to Gareth Southgate on his departure.
England 5-1 Croatia
9th September, 2009
World Cup qualifier; Wembley Stadium
One of Gerrard’s – and England’s – best performances in recent times, hitting Croatia for five just two years after they’d ended Steve McClaren’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008.
Fabio Capello replaced the former Middlesbrough boss, and optimism was once again at an all-time high as two headed goals from Gerrard helped send the Three Lions on their way.
Frank Lampard also bagged a brace, whilst Wayne Rooney notched the fifth after Eduardo had pulled one back for the visiting Croatians.
England 1-1 USA
12th June, 2010
World Cup; Royal Bafokeng Stadium
With John Terry stripped of the England captaincy, defender Rio Ferdinand got the chance to lead his country in South Africa. However, injury led to the Manchester United centre back missing out, and Gerrard got the armband for the big stage.
He instantly showed why he was the right choice, scoring after four minutes on a night to forget for Robert Green, whose howler allowed the underdogs to claim a surprise point.
Whilst the trip ultimately proved to be a failure for the Three Lions, individually it was Gerrard who stood out as England’s best player, and he now gets another chance at a major tournament.
England 2-1 Hungary
11th August, 2010
Friendly; Wembley Stadium
It was a friendly that didn’t exactly sit well with fans, kicking-off the new season with a clash under the arch just over a month after England’s failure in Africa.
And, after going 1-0 down, things appeared to be going from bad to worse for the returning ‘heroes’.
Up steps captain Gerrard to rescue his country, scoring twice in the second-half to prove that he shouldn’t be wasted on the left, but allowed to pull the strings in the centre. Expect more this summer.