- Premier League
'Liverpool mean everything to Gerrard'
Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool mean everything to Steven Gerrard and his decision to retire from international football will benefit the club.
The 34 year old, who captained England during their disappointing group-stage exit at the World Cup, announced his decision to end his 14-year international career on Monday.
Lambert: No sentiment in Liverpool move
- Rickie Lambert insists sentiment will play no part in his fortunes at Liverpool. He joined from Southampton for £4 million in a "dream" move to the club he supports and where he began his career.
- "I know a lot of Liverpool fans like the idea of signing a Scouser but the move had no sentiment about it," he said. "Football has no place for sentimental things. It's about what I do on the pitch.
- "It's a good story but the time the first game of the season is coming and believe me when I say it that is all I am focusing on. I want to get myself in the best shape possible. That is when you will see the best of me."
"You can't forget that Liverpool means everything to him and missing out on internationals will make him fresher for the Champions League," Rodgers said, speaking at a press conference before a pre-season friendly against Roma on Wednesday night.
"For us at Liverpool it's great but it brings to an end what has been a great career for him. I spent a lot of time talking with Steven about the matter. I know how much it means to him to captain his country and there is no doubt he has been a wonderful captain."
Rodgers, who also said he does not feel let down by Luis Suarez's decision to join Barcelona, has been joined by Zindine Zidane in welcoming Gerrard's decision.
The former Real Madrid and France star said: "I can understand it and I think it will be good for Liverpool. Liverpool showed last season that they are close to achieving something special - and it is so important they have their captain available.
"They are back in the Champions League this season and as you get older you have to accept you can't play every game for club and country.
"I am sure it was not an easy decision for Steven but I think it is the right one for himself and Liverpool.
"I remember how surprised people were when Paul Scholes retired from playing for England but Manchester United saw the benefit of that.
"He was winning Premier League titles until his late 30's and now Steven doesn't have the responsibility of playing for England you feel he can replicate that with Liverpool."