As he approaches a century of caps we look at Steven Gerrard's England career so far
Steven Gerrard picks out the famous 5-1 victory over Germany in Munich as the most memorable moment of his England career so far.
But with the Liverpool star currently captain of his country and sitting on 99 caps, you can be sure his next appearance will be very special too.
The 32-year-old midfielder is set to become a Three Lions centurion in tomorrow’s friendly against Sweden.
And ever since Gerrard made his international debut against the Ukraine in May 2000 after being given his chance by Kevin Keegan, he has looked very much at home on the international stage.
He has been selected by every England manager since over a period of more than 12 years.
There have been highlights and lowlights during that time of course but throughout it all Gerrard has worn the shirt with pride and never flinched in his desire to play and give everything for his country.
He said: “It’s been fantastic. For me all the games have been significant. Every time you put the England shirt on it is a proud moment and to get 99 is a fantastic achievement for myself.
“If I was pushed, the most significant game for me would be the 5-1 win in Germany in 2001.
“That was an incredible win and it was my first goal for England too, so it was a special day.
“But playing for England is always special. I still feel fresh and I look forward to every England game as much as my debut.
“I’m still loving it as much as if it was my first because it’s an exciting time to be an England player.”
That wonderful goal in Munich, on a day when Michael Owen scored a hat-trick for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s men, typified the kind of skill and precision Gerrard can bring to a team.
And he has managed 18 more goals in the ensuing years.
He scored twice in the World Cup Finals in Germany in 2006, was on target against Switzerland in Euro 2004 when he was one of the tournament’s outstanding players and was involved in another famous 5-1 triumph in 2009 – when he scored twice against Croatia at Wembley.
Those were all heady days but Gerrard has been just as influential when the chips are down.
Perhaps one of his best performances came in a difficult match against Andorra in Barcelona during the Euro 2008 qualifiers when manager Steve McClaren was under intense pressure.
In pouring rain at the Olympic Stadium, England were below par and booed off at half-time in an increasingly frustrated atmosphere.
But Gerrard almost single-handedly dragged the Three Lions to victory in the second half as he scored twice in a 3-0 win, turning the game around through sheer determination.
Sadly, England didn’t qualify for the finals and McClaren was replaced by Fabio Capello soon after.
But nobody could doubt what playing for England meant to Gerrard that day or on any other day since for that matter.
Perhaps it is that kind of commitment that explains why he has always been given extra responsibility by almost ever manager he has played under for both club and country.
At Liverpool, where he has spent his entire career as a skilful, combative and goalscoring midfielder, he has been captain since taking the armband from Sami Hyypia in 2003.
His honours include two FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League (thanks to a memorable game against Milan in 2005 when he famously inspired an incredible comeback from 3-0 down to lift the trophy), one UEFA Cup, and two Super Cups.
For England, he was made vice-captain by McClaren, served as occasional captain for Capello – including for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa - and was named permanent captain by current manager Roy Hodgson.
His latest honour was leading England out in the Euro 2012 Finals, winning two man of the match awards as Hodgson’s new-look side finished top of their group and reached the quarter-finals before bowing out to Italy on penalties.
Unsurprisingly Gerrard was included in Uefa’s team of the tournament – England’s only representative.
But it’s not only UEFA and his peers who recognise Gerrard’s quality.
England have lost just 12 of the 99 games he has played for his country and he was England’s Player of the Year in 2007.
So he has all the credentials required to join the likes of Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright in the Three Lions' century club.