May 25, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT
England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he’ll decide his international future once the World Cup was over, but made it sound like he could be involved in his last international tournament.
Gerrard made it sound like there will be serious consideration on retirement once the Brazil tournament is over.
The 33-year-old said “I won’t stay around if I’m not wanted” and “it will be very close after the World Cup I’ll make that decision.”
If he wasn’t contemplating hanging it up for his country, there wouldn’t be a decision to make, but it’s obviously on his mind.
“I’m not going to leave anyone hanging,” Gerrard told English papers. “Don’t worry, as soon as the World Cup is over I’ll sit down with the manager at the right time and I’ll make the decision. I can be open and honest with you now that I haven’t made that decision because I haven’t had the chance to chat with the manager at length over it.”
With Liverpool nearly winning the title last year, the Reds would no doubt benefit from Gerrard taking time off during international breaks in the schedule, especially with the grind of European play on the docket next year.
If Gerrard plays in every upcoming friendly plus their group stage matches, he would equal David Beckham’s outfield caps record of 115. Gerrard called Beckham “a hero of mine” but said the milestone “isn’t an important one.”
“To get close to David Beckham, to match him, or to go ahead of him would be an unbelievable achievement,” Gerrard said. “He’s a hero of mine, I was lucky enough to play with him. He’s a top role model and a top player as well.”
At the club level, Gerrard has won a Champions League in dramatic fashion, but has never won a Premier League championship, something Liverpool came so close to doing last season.
He may decide, after his third World Cup, club honors may be more important to his legacy than anything he may be able to still achieve with his country’s squad.
“I’ll be chatting to [Liverpool manager] Brendan Rodgers, [England manager] Roy Hodgson and a few important people around me whose opinion I respect, players I’ve played with,” said Gerrard. “I’ll chat to them all and make the right decision at the right time.”
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