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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Gerrard declines Ibrahimovic advice

ESPN staff

Steven Gerrard has politely declined Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's recommendation that he should leave Liverpool to play abroad.

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England head to Sweden for a friendly at the new Friends Arena on Wednesday night, with Gerrard the focus of attention as the captain prepares to win his 100th cap.

The 32-year-old has drawn plenty of praise ahead of the milestone, but Paris Saint-Germain star Ibrahimovic suggested his career would benefit if he were to leave Anfield for "a big international club". Gerrard, who recently spoke of his temptation to join Chelsea during the Jose Mourinho era, insists he is happy to be a one-club player.

"I'm a big fan of Zlatan as a player but I'm not going to take his advice," Gerrard said. "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."

Gerrard also has no intention of walking away from England. He admits that he did consider international retirement after exiting Euro 2012 at the quarter-final stage but says seeing young players like Jack Wilshere gives him hope for the future.

"When you are my age and have another disappointment with England, quitting crosses your mind," Gerrard said. "After the Italy disappointment, I had a decision to make, but knowing players like Jack were coming through made me feel it was worth hanging about and carrying on for a couple more years to see if things change.

"If we can produce more players on Jack's level, maybe we have got a chance of going far in a tournament."

Gerrard acknowledged that his international career has not been as successful as it might have been and pales in comparison to World Cup-winning centurions Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore.

"If they are a ten, I would rate myself as a six or seven," he said. "[Moore and Charlton] will always be heroes of mine and heroes of English football. In football, hero and legend status get given out far too easily. As far as playing for England goes, there are maybe 14 or 15 heroes. The rest haven't really delivered."




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