Imagine yourself a kid with the ball at your feet. You close your eyes and envision yourself playing for your favorite team in the biggest of moments. You score a goal. Your team lifts the trophy. For yourself, for the fans, and for your city who you represent: Eternal glory.

Steven Gerrard is one of the special few who have lived out such a dream. Gerrard won nearly every trophy with Liverpool – a club he’s been with since he was nine years old. But Gerrard will not end his playing career at Anfield.

On Thursday, Gerrard announced that he will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. He’s played in 695 games and scored 180 goals for Liverpool since his debut in 1998.

Nigel Spackman won a league title with the Reds in 1989, a major part of the midfield. When asked about Gerrard on The Football Show on Friday, Spackman said “he’s one of the all-time greats at Liverpool.”

The big moments are what people remember Gerrard for. Scoring against Olympiacos in the 2005 UEFA Champions League group stage which helped the team reach the epic 2005 final in Istanbul against AC Milan; his header in that game, which Liverpool went on to win in a penalty shootout; his two-goal performance versus West Ham United in the 2006 FA Cup final.

Spackman coached Gerrard at the youth level and is proud of his former pupil. “All this success that’s come his way, he’s deserved, because he really put time and effort into it.”

Yet Spackman wonders how Gerrard would have fared alongside better teammates. After all, Gerrard has never won the Premier League – but that’s not all on him.

As for the timing of his announcement? John Cross, chief football correspondent for the Daily Mirror, was intrigued as to how it will play out. Rarely do players or managers in Europe reveal their intentions to leave a club during a season.

When Sir Alex said he was going to leave 12 years ago, “Manchester United completely lost their focus,” Cross said. “Man United went into meltdown.” Ferguson, of course, stayed on.

For Gerrard, the question remains if it will spurn him on to greater heights knowing it is his final season, or if his focus will wane. One thing Cross knows for sure: Gerrard is the best midfielder of his generation.

What’s next for Gerrard? Reports suggest he’s headed to Major League Soccer. The front runner to obtain his services? None other than the L.A. Galaxy.

ESPN’s Jeffrey Carlisle spoke to JP Dellacamera and John Harkes on Counter Attack on Thursday to explain how the new CBA could impact Gerrard’s move, and if he’s headed to L.A. or perhaps New York, now that NYCFC could be losing out on Frank Lampard.

Gerrard has defined the club for the last 15 years. As he gets set to start a new chapter in his career, the club must rewrite itself for the next 15.

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