Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has retired, ending a 19-year playing career.
The midfielder is England’s fourth most-capped player with 114 appearances and captained the side at three of the six major tournaments he played at.
“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career,” said Gerrard.
“I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
“I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool.”
Gerrard had been linked to a job in management with MK Dons after announcing he would leave LA Galaxy, but said on Wednesday the opportunity came “too soon” for him.
Gerrard – who is working towards his UEFA A coaching licence, the second-highest qualification available – has also been linked with moves to Celtic and Newcastle United, as well as a return to Anfield as a coach.
Yesterday, he said he will take time to consider his options before making an announcement on the next stage of his career “very soon”, adding: “I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game, in whatever capacity that may be.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down talk of Gerrard returning to the Premier League club in a coaching role and said he should be given “room and space to jump in and learn something new”.
“When something is announced then we will talk. It is clear that one day in the future there will something to announce, that is pretty sure too, but until then there is nothing to say,” said the German, who became Reds boss in October 2015.
“The first thing you should all learn is that, if someone wants to help Steven Gerrard, stop being so excited about each step he is doing next.
“The door is always open for him. From our side, if he wants to make a different career to his former career then we want to help him.
“There is nothing else to say – but maybe that is already too much.”
Gerrard was made Liverpool captain by Gerard Houllier in 2003 and led the side to the Champions League title in 2005, scoring the Reds’ first goal as they recovered from being 3-0 down at half-time to beat Italian giants AC Milan on penalties in the Istanbul final.
“I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul,” he added.
“I feel privileged to have won 114 England caps and to have had the honour of captaining my country.”
While the Champions League success is surely the highlight of Gerrard’s Liverpool career, he also helped his boyhood club win two FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and a UEFA Super Cup.
“I was lucky to play alongside some great players and under some fantastic managers during my time at Anfield and would like to thank each and every one of them, as well as all of the backroom staff at the club throughout my time there for the fantastic support they showed me,” he added.
Gerrard scored his first England goal in the 5-1 win over Germany in September 2001
Gerrard made his England debut against Ukraine in 2000 and scored his first international goal in a 5-1 win in Germany in a 2002 World Cup qualifier the following year.
He went on to make 114 appearances for the Three Lions, captaining his country at three major tournaments.
Fabio Capello was the first England manager to make Gerrard his captain in 2008, but it was not until 2010 that he took on the role on a more permanent basis when he stood in for the injured Rio Ferdinand at the 2010 World Cup.
Gerrard kept the captaincy for Euro 2012, the year in which he won his 100th England cap, before announcing his retirement from international duty after a group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup.