x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Praise for 'Superman' Steven Gerrard as he prepares for 600th Liverpool appearance

Brendan Rodgers has hailed the Liverpool captain as one of the best of his generation as he passes another milestone for his boyhood club.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with manager Brendan Rodgers at the club's training ground.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with manager Brendan Rodgers at the club's training ground.

Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool captain, will make his 600th appearance for his boyhood club today and his manager Brendan Rodgers thinks the midfielder is one of the best players of his generation.

The 32 year old made his debut in November 1988 and has long since been established as one of Liverpool's best ever players.

When he leads out the side at Anfield against Newcastle United he will become only the 10th player to have clocked up 600 matches for the club.

"Players of that ilk come around very rarely," said Rodgers. "I think he is a player that supporters should really make the most of the years he has left. He still has a number of years left, don't get me wrong, but this guy has quality. You saw him the other night when we were playing Swansea [a 3-1 league cup defeat] and the game was flat in the first half.

"He dons his Superman cape, comes on and changes the whole dynamic of the game.

"That is what great players do and this is one of the modern greats of the game. What is even more of a pleasure to see is how he devotes his life to it. He is 32 and he wants to learn. We are looking at videos of his game to improve him and that has to come from him.

"That is self-motivation and a self-drive to be better. He is not settling on everything he has had in his career, he is wanting to improve and he is an incredible talent who is a real pleasure to work with.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again, he's an iconic figure for this football club."

Gerrard's current teammate Jamie Carragher is second on the all-time list with 710 appearances - behind Ian Callaghan, 857 - but he believes the Liverpool captain, who is two years his junior, will eventually surpass him.

"He's been a better player than me for Liverpool so he thoroughly deserves that," Carragher told liverpoolfc.com.

Newcastle are without a league win at Anfield since 1994. Last season, Liverpool beat Alan Pardew's side 3-1, with two goals for Craig Bellamy and one from Gerrard doing the damage.

"This particular side has only been there [Anfield] once. We're taking back more or less the side that played there last year so that will stand them in good stead," Pardew said.

"It's a fixture that you can get wrapped up in a little bit. It's such an emotional start, the way they build that game up, and you can get lost in that period.

"Sometimes teams are beat before they get there so hopefully we will get over that this time. Anfield is one of those places where that does happen. The build up is fantastic and if you're a football fan you have to go there to witness it.

"St James' Park can also create an atmosphere where you can freeze. You just have to hope it doesn't happen to your team."