Former England midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were back in tandem as they shared the PFA Merit award on Sunday.
Coutinho, Kolo and Gerrard at the PFA awards tonight. pic.twitter.com/8tVYOEd1m3
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) April 26, 2015
The veteran pair will leave the Premier League for Major League Soccer in the summer, having left an indelible mark on English football.
Both Gerrard and Lampard were mainstays of England’s much-heralded ‘golden generation’ and collected 220 caps between them.
Questions were often asked of their suitability as partners in central midfield, with both being attack-minded players, but each man’s individual ability was never in doubt.
Liverpool skipper Gerrard was pleased to join his former international colleague in accepting the award.
“Of course, we played together for England for a long time and I’m a huge admirer of Frank and his game and the success he has had at Chelsea,” Gerrard said.
“He is an unbelievable player, a world-class player and I couldn’t ask for anyone better to share it with.
“I’m really pleased. Every time you get an individual award and an award for the job you do, you’re really happy. I’m a young boy from a council estate who has worked every so hard to get to where I am today.
“I have been lucky, I have had a fantastic career it has been full of highs and lows but some of the highs I have achieved have blown me away and I achieved a lot of my dreams playing for Liverpool and England.”
Gerrard will call time on a 17-year Liverpool career when he completes a move to Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season and admits he will miss many aspects of playing at Anfield.
“It has been a privilege to represent Liverpool for so long and to share some of the highlights of my career,” he added.
“For sure I’m going to miss Liverpool, the league and the country – I will miss everything about it, it is going to be an emotional few weeks, but I go with my head held high and I’m not going to hang my boots up yet – I’ve got a couple of years left in me.”
Lampard is also set to join Gerrard in America, with his loan deal at Manchester City ending at next month as he embarks on a career swansong with New York City FC.
He was delighted to share the evening with Gerrard and heralded the joint award as a great way to end his time in England.
“I’m pleased – it is a great honour,” the former Chelsea man said. “I have been fortunate enough to have a long time playing in the Premier League – along with Steven it is a great honour to be alongside a player who himself has done so much for the game. For the two of us to get it, it is a nice send-off and a nice ending for me.
“I have got a huge amount of respect for Steven – we had a few ding-dongs up and down the years, we seemed to play each other five or six times a season when the Champions League was involved.
“He deserved the accolades he gets for his career and being a statesmen of Liverpool – he will be remembered for what he has done in the game. I’m proud to stand alongside him, he is a good friend and we had fun playing together for England.”