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Balotelli says Gerrard is as good as Pirlo

Mario Balotelli has compared Liverpool Skipper Steven Gerrard to Andrea Pirlo Credit: PA

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli says skipper Steven Gerrard is on a par with Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

Balotelli has played alongside Pirlo in the Italian national team and believes his the former England captain is comparable to the Juventus man.

Gerrard is an amazing player. I had really not seen much of him before this season, apart from for England, but wow. I think of him as being at the same level as Pirlo,"

"Vision, technique, but he is powerful as well. Stevie can do anything. It’s going to be very difficult for the team to find another player like him in the future.”

– Mario Balotelli, Liverpool FC, speaking to Sport Magazine.

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Plaudits for Steven Gerrard after Liverpool star retires from international football

Gerrard to retire from international football

Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football after 14 years.

The player has been to three World Cup tournaments - 2006, 2010 and this summer, and three European Championships.

Speaking to the Liverpool FC website, Gerrard said: "I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won't pull on the England shirt again.

"However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with The FA and helping out in any way I can going forward.

"I'd like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey. I'd also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England managers I've played under to the staff at the FA and, of course, all the players I've been fortunate to play alongside.

"In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results.

Gerrard rallies his team-mates during the Uruguay game.

"I'd especially like to thank Roy [Hodgson], firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfil my childhood dream," Gerrard continued.

"He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard.

"This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I've had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point.

"Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field.

"To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club, I believe this is the right decision and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision."

Gerrard reacts after the FIFA World Cup game against Costa Rica.

"While I'm disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven's situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country.

"I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.

"He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often. It is never by coincidence that people reach such a staggering figure as 114 caps, it is a mark of his wonderful talent allied to a huge drive and determination to live up to the highest standard.

"He is not only a player to bring crowds to their feet with moments of brilliance; he was a tremendous captain and an exceptional role model for everyone who was fortunate to come into contact with him.

"We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the qualification campaign with a youthful group of players. I wish him all the best in the future, although I know I can count on his continued support and influence as a helpful presence moving forward."

– Roy Hodgson, England Manager.

Steven Gerrard statement on Suarez departure

The Liverpool captain says the striker's departure is 'emotional'. Credit: PA

'On an emotional day for me would just like to say what a pleasure it has been playing with an amazing talent such as Luis. I would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution on the pitch and to wish him and his family all the best on his new adventure in Spain'

Stripes are all right for Liverpool's new third kit

The new LFC 3rd kit. Credit: Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC and kit sponsor Warrior have unveiled their brand new third kit for the 2014-15 season.

Steven Gerrard in Liverpool's new 3rd kit. Credit: Liverpool FC

The Club's website says it "combines modern design with functionality". The strip will be used in domestic competitions and for away matches in the Champions League as the Reds return to the tournament.

The squad will sport the redesigned shirt, shorts and socks for the first time on July 27, when Brendan Rodgers' side take on Olympiacos in a friendly in Chicago as part of their pre-season tour.

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Suarez wins Football Writers' award

Suarez has already won the PFA player of the year this season Credit: PA

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has been voted the 2014 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

Suarez topped the poll of 300 journalists, ahead of England captain Steven Gerrard and Manchester City's Yaya Toure in a clean sweep for North West teams.

The Uruguay international, 27, has scored 30 goals already this season and has already won the Professional Footballers' Association award from his fellow players.

The Liverpool forward will be honoured with the prestigious FWA accolade at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on May 15.

Former PC in court over Gerrard CCTV allegations

Steven Gerrard Credit: ITV Granada

A former Merseyside police officer is due in court accused of misconduct over footage of an alleged incident involving Liverpool FC's Steven Gerrard. Helen Jones, who's 33 and from Kent, is accused of retrieving CCTV pictures from a business in Formby.

The footage is believed to relate to an alleged incident between Gerrard and another man.

Merseyside police say Ms Jones is currently on a career break from the force.

She's expected to appear at Preston Crown Court.

Steven Gerrard's testimonial match

Liverpool honours Gerrard later today at Anfield Credit: Martin Rickett/PA

Liverpool Football Club will honour Steven Gerrard with a testimonial today with the proceeds being donated to charity.

The Reds will face reigning Greek Champions and European giants Olympiacos in their only pre-season match to be played at Anfield this afternoon (2pm KO).

The contest is being staged to celebrate Gerrard's glittering Liverpool career and to recognise his commitment and loyalty to his hometown club.

Money raised from events celebrating Steven's testimonial year will be for the benefit of The Steven Gerrard Foundation (SGF), a registered charity.

The foundation, set up in February 2011, is committed to making a lasting difference to disadvantaged children and young people in need.

Liverpool's opponents, Olympiacos, have confirmed that they too will be donating their appearance fee to local charities in Greece.

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