England midfielder Steven Gerrard has confirmed he wants to continue as captain and help Roy Hodgson's side qualify for the World Cup in Brazil 2014.
The Liverpool and England skipper guided the Three Lions to the quarter-finals, where penalty defeat once again sent his side home early. And Gerrard has reiterated his desire to continue playing for England, and to remain as captain as they look ahead to Brazil in two years time.
"I've loved it, I've loved the responsibility and I've enjoyed every minute of it," said Gerrard of leading England in Ukraine and Poland. "I've had a brief chat with the manager, I'm available as long as I'm wanted at this level. The manager has told me he wants me to continue and carry on."
The 32-year-old enjoyed one of his best tournaments in an England shirt, and thrived in a central midfield position along with Scott Parker. But in the quarter-final, Cesare Prandelli's Italy dominated for long periods, and with the game goalless after extra time, England faced penalties at a major international tournament for the third time in eight years.
Former West Ham striker Alessandro Diamanti scored the winning spot-kick, after Ashley Cole and Ashley Young failed from 12 yards, sending England home and earning Italy a semi-final date with Germany.
During the 120 minutes Italy had a goal disallowed, and hit the post twice, as Roy Hodgson's side battled hard to keep the Azzurri at bay. And Gerrard admits his team have to improve with the ball if they want to make an impression in the later rounds of international tournaments.
"At times the football hasn't been fantastic, we haven't blown people away," said the England skipper. "The possession stats speak for themselves. Moving forward as a nation we do need to improve with the ball."
But the Liverpool and England captain insisted that his side had given their all during the tournament. Despite low expectations heading into the competition, England managed to qualify top of Group D, but after defeat to Italy, Hodgson's team will be leaving their Krakow base later this afternoon.
"Everyone has given everything they've got and that's all you can ask for," Gerrard added. "I think the supporters will agree with me that we have played for the shirt. I think we've performed to a better level at this competition than in previous tournaments."
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