By Keith Weir
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will leave the club he has played for throughout his career and move to a foreign team at the end of the season, the English Premier League club said on Friday.
Gerrard, 34, has made 695 appearance and scored 180 goals for Liverpool after joining the club as an eight-year-old schoolboy.
“I’m going to carry on playing,” Gerrard said in a statement on the club website.
“Although I can’t confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool – that is something I could never contemplate,” he added.
Gerrard is out of contract at the end of the season and the English media speculated that he could move to North America to play in the Major League Soccer (MLS).
He has been at the heart of the Liverpool team for the past decade and showed his enduring value to the club with two penalties in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Thursday.
His greatest moment in a Liverpool shirt was when he helped to inspire their dramatic comeback win over AC Milan in the Champions League final in 2005.
However, he suffered disappointment last May when Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title. They faltered late in the campaign when they appeared poised to become English champions for the first time since 1990.
“My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over,” added Gerrard.