Gerrard feeling nervous as he prepares to pull on special boots to mark 100th England game

By Rik Sharma

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, the Champions League, double FA Cup and thrice League Cup winner, has admitted feeling nervous on the eve of England's friendly with Sweden on Wednesday night.

But for Gerrard this is not just a run-of-the-mill calendar-padding fixture, this is the match in which he will win his 100th international cap.

So we can forgive the all-action midfielder his flustered demeanour - only five others have played more times for England.

History boy: Steven Gerrard admits he is nervous on the eve of winning his 100th England cap

History boy: Steven Gerrard admits he is nervous on the eve of winning his 100th England cap

Bootiful: He is commemorating the game with a pair of specially embroidered boots

Bootiful: He is commemorating the game with a pair of specially embroidered boots

'I'm excited. I'm slightly nervous which I haven't been for a while,' explained Gerrard.

'I can't wait for the game to start. My England journey has had ups and downs a lot like any other player.

'I still feel I have a few chapters to write yet. I don't feel I'm at the end.

'I'm really happy with my form in an England shirt at the moment.'

Gerrard has a pair of specially embroidered boots to commemorate the occasion, with 'Sweden vs. England', '100 Caps' and the date of the matched etched into the leather.

Preparation: Gerrard (centre) during the training session at the Friends Arena, Stockholm

Preparation: Gerrard (centre) during the training session at the Friends Arena, Stockholm

One of few: Only five other players have broken the 100 cap milestone

One of few: Only five other players have broken the 100 cap milestone

Revisited: The classic Bobby Moore photo from the 70s was redone with Gerrard in the centre

Revisited: The classic Bobby Moore photo from the 70s was redone with Gerrard in the centre

In addition to the boots he also marked the event by returning to his primary school and posing for an exclusive Sportsmail photo with the children wearing his 99 caps, a la Bobby Moore in 1973.

Peter Shilton (125 caps), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Bobby Charlton (106 caps) and Billy Wright (105) are the centurions before him.

Beckham's record for an outfield player is Gerrard's next target but he says his focus lies on ensuring England successfully navigate their group and make it to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

'I don't know (if he will pass the mark) we'll have to wait and see,' said Gerrard.

'David is a hero of mine. I've always looked up to him and I enjoyed playing alongside him.

Leading the way: David Beckham holds the record for most caps for an outfield player

Leading the way: David Beckham holds the record for most caps for an outfield player

'But to be honest it is not important to me if I beat David's record. I just want to qualify this team for the next big tournament.'

Sweden and Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has labelled the Englishman 'fantastic' and told him he should be playing at a bigger club than Liverpool.

Ibrahimovic said: ‘I think English players have a big heart, always fighting and very aggressive. But for me, Steven Gerrard feels more international. He has more skills than a normal player.

'He could have played for a big international club outside the Premier League.

On the wind-up: Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Gerrard could have played for a big club

On the wind-up: Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Gerrard could have played for a big club

He added: 'He always plays at a high level when he is not injured. He is a very good person to have as a team-mate in your team. He always gives 200%, is a good fighter and has good skills and a good touch with the ball also.

Gerrard laughed off the comment saying: 'I’m a big fan of Zlatan as a player but I’m not going to take his advice.

'I am very happy at Liverpool and in my opinion I am at one of the biggest clubs in the world, a team that has won the European Cup five times. So I’m happy where I am, but thanks for his opinion.'

Leading the way: Gerrard is set to captain England on Wednesday night

Leading the way: Gerrard is set to captain England on Wednesday night

 

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Red man kop -- think its a bit harsh what your saying about Steve I think he's got 1 more year but no more . I do however have to agree with you that we need reduce the deficit on our club . £180k a week is far to much . We shudnt have to give him bonuses performance related . He shud be proud to play for the big red bird we wear on our shirt . Get Raheem signed up give him 80 -90 k a week no more . Think spearing shud be back here aswell in midfield .maybe Shane long up front ?? Well done Steve . Please give up internationals after tonite .

Click to rate     Rating   1

Gerrard is a class player every team that Mourihno has managed since he was at Chelsea he tried to sign him. Sir Alex Fergusion describe as the most influential player in the premiership. Zinedane, Henry and Viera spoke about him being the most influential English player can they all be wrong. For people who say he never played like he plays for Liverpool he plays in the centre and on the right mid and still ran the show. Lampard and Gerrard debate was stupid as Essien and Makelele made Frank have only the responsibility of shooting and passing.

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Embroidered boots - my god ! such a superficial insecure big girls blouse . - Ed Allen , Whitby Canada, 13/11/2012 21:11 Usually players wear special boots/shirts for special occaions to auction them off for charity. So Ed shut up on future and stick to ice hockey

Click to rate     Rating   3

What the guff Red Guys? What do you think Stevie would make of all this bickering on the eve of his 100th cap?? I bet Stevie would say "stop it Red Guys! We need a UNITED kop".. Therefore lets be as true to Stevie as Stevie has been true to us by taking Stevie's advice¿. thanks for that Stevie! And please NO MORE SWEARING IN THE KOP¿ I heard some awful language come over my surround sound system on Sunday, I said to my wife "That'll be the Chelsea fans" but if I'm honest it seemed it may have been a Red Guy shouting something unrepeatable at Mr Rodgers¿ Something about him being a fat little dwarf?? Not cool Red Guys, we are better than this, lets show our support tonight for the Red Guys who play for England. Ps I think we should play Stevie G up front tonight, he¿s just the best! #GoMightyRedGuys + Go England All Whites

Click to rate     Rating   8

A great football for Liverpool often leading by example and been one of the England's team better players. Deserve the pludits.

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ZlatanLAD

Click to rate     Rating   6

Zlat collecting his huge wages at PSG.... Big in the 70's and now full of mercenaries....The Man City of France...

Click to rate     Rating   18

As a red don't want to see him playing just to pick up his 100th cap. Its typical that he'd get injured and in any case he has never performed for england like he has done for the red guys in the past. Not sure if it will do his confidence any favours if he has a bad night. We need him to stay fit until January until Rodgers can reinforce the squad's threadbare midfield with some young prospects. At which point I say it's time to thank Gerrard for his services over the years and politely show him the door. 180 k per week plus bonuses for appearances, completed passes and tackles is far too much for what he will bring to the table as a squad player. Cole on 120k should leave too it's a joke. We could then easily afford sterlings wages even pay him 100k a week to keep him with us. Getting these clowns off our books would pave the way for Rodgers to bring in lots of free and loan signings for this transitional period and invest in lots of young prospects for the project. YNWA

Click to rate     Rating   29

The zlat talks sense again. Look at his clubs compared to stevie me

Click to rate     Rating   20

Reece: Zlatan has played in AC Milan and Barcelona and i would put them as bigger clubs than Liverpool for sure.

Click to rate     Rating   26

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