Rodgers welcomes Gerrard's England exit

After earning 114 caps and captaining England at successive FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014, Gerrard opted to quit international football in order to focus on Liverpool.

Speaking to reporters at Fenway Park in Boston ahead of Liverpool's friendly fixture against Roma on Wednesday, Rodgers said the 34-year-old skipper's decision was a boost for the club, who are also preparing for their return to the UEFA Champions League after finishing second last season.

"I'd spent a lot of time talking to Steven on it, because I know how much it means to him to captain his country," Rodgers said.

"He has been a wonderful captain. But Liverpool is everything to him and there's certainly no doubt that by missing out on international football, it will make him fresher.

"He'll be ready to be at his optimum level as often as he possibly can. For us at Liverpool, it's great. It brings an end to what has been a great career for England."

Liverpool kick-off their Premier League campaign against Southampton at Anfield on August 17.

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