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BREAKING NEWS: Gerrard announces retirement

Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 36-year-old revealed this month he would not remain at Major League Soccer franchise LA Galaxy beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2016 season.

The midfielder, who swapped Anfield for the StubHub Center in 2015, has been linked with a variety of clubs and management roles since the news of his impending departure from the United States.

And the Champions League and FA Cup winner has now confirmed he will not seek another playing role.

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"Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football," he said in a widely circulated statement.

"I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.

"As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, and when I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998 I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years.

"I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career. I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul.

"At an international level, I feel privileged to have won 114 England caps and to have had the honour of captaining my country. I will always look back with great pride at every time I pulled on the England shirt.

"I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game, in whatever capacity that may be. I am currently taking my time to consider a number of options and will make an announcement with regards to the next stage of my career very soon."