Steven Gerrard was handed his favored #8 jersey after signing with the club and he is now gearing up for his first match which is expected to be in the California Clasico against the San Jose on July 17. The veteran Liverpool and England player has been wearing the #8 since his early days at Liverpool.
Longtime fans of the Merseyside club know that Gerrard has been a force to be reckoned with for years. In 2003, he took over the captaincy of Sami Hyypia at the ripe age of 23. Manager Gerard Houllier said he saw leadership qualities in the young midfielder and the time was right for him to take over.
The reasoning for Gerrard being given the #8 shirt is a little simpler than others. England striker Emile Heskey commanded the number before him, but after a move to lowly Birmingham City in 2004, new manager Rafa Benitez decided his captain should have a number more fitting of his position. Gerrard had worn the famous number during some of his time in the team’s youth academy.
Gerrard is known for his command of the field with powerful and accurate passing coupled with unparalleled vision to see space that others cannot. This makes him such an important player and is why he deserves the number 8 at his new club.
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While hype for Gerrard at his new club has been low, as the veteran midfielder likes to keep a low profile, his impact should be evident. The 35 year old has spoken of his desire to create a dynasty at LA Galaxy and make an impact similar to David Beckham and Landon Donovan. His #8 has seen him to a Champions League triumph, domestic cup glory, and plenty of individual accolades. Now as Gerrard starts what could be the final chapter in his soccer career, he sticks to what has meant so much to him over the years.
Prior to taking the #8 jersey, Gerrard wore #17.
Customizable Steven Gerrard and LA Galaxy jerseys and gear are available at World Soccer Shop.