London: England captain Steven Gerrard has said that he is determined not to suffer more heartbreak at the sharp end of the Euro 2012, having twice missed out on the chance of playing in the quarter-finals of the European Championship before.
Gerrard has sought to rally the Three Lion’s players ahead of their Euro quarterfinal with Italy by insisting that they are entitled to dream of glory after years of near misses.
“Since I made my England debut I’ve dreamed of doing well in these major tournaments. Up to now that hasn’t happened. There’s another chance here to do it and, because of the hurt and pain I’ve been through before, I’m hoping it’ll be different this time,” Gerrard said.
The Liverpool captain, 32, knows that Euro 2012 may be his last chance to make his mark on one of football’s grandest stages.
At Euro 2004, having been substituted, he had to watch from the sidelines as his team-mates were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Portugal. Two years later at the World Cup in Germany, history repeated itself while Gerrard missed his penalty.
“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got to try and make it different. Once you get to this stage of a competition, the quarter-final, and you can see what’s in sight, you start to dream. To lose any quarter-final match hurts so much,”he said.
“This is a fantastic moment for this team and this group of players. It’s important we grasp it and we don’t go home with any regrets. The only thing we can do is try and play a good level and leave everything out there,” he added.
First Published: Sunday, June 24, 2012, 13:03