Zee Media Bureau/Dattaraj Thaly
London: England and Liverpool skipper will decide on his future after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Over the years, Gerard has been one of the most important members of the England national team. At 109 appearances, he is only six short of David Beckham`s record of 115 caps.
Post the 2014 World Cup, Gerrard will have discussions with both, England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers before he takes the final decision regarding his England future. England have been drawn with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D, which is one of the toughest groups at this year`s World Cup. The Three Lions will kick-start their campaign against Italy on 14 June at Manaus.
Gerrard has scored 21 goals for his country and has been one of the most consistent performers. The long standing debate as to who is the better midfielder between him and Frank Lampard will go on but the Liverpool captain has been preferred by most England managers over the Chelsea legend.
The England squad is brimming with young midfielders who have never been part of a World Cup. The likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley will not only be playing along side Gerrard, but also looking to learn from the experienced captain. Hence the biggest stage in world football would be a great opportunity for Gerrard and Lampard to pass the baton to the gen-next of England`s midfielders.
A lot will depend on how the team fares in Brazil as well as Gerrard`s personal form before he reaches a decision. However, his main concern would be what role is designated to him post the World Cup especially since Hodgson has shown the tendency to gravitate towards the youth as evident from his squad selection for Brazil.
Hodgson also feels the current England squad is much stronger to the one he had during the Euro 2012. He is leaving no stone unturned in order to deliver a respectable performance in this year;s edition of football`s grand extravaganza. Team Sky boss, Sir Dave Brailsford has been invited by the England manager to deliver a motivational talk to his squad before they fly out.