Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard believes that the key to success in life is continuous learning — as he described his own journey in football from player to coach.
The coach of Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia made the remarks on Monday at the Riyadh Book Fair, where he attended a seminar titled “Sports and Cultural Exchange” — in front of adoring football fans.
Gerrard said that reading has always been an integral part of his life, at airports waiting for flights, and during rest periods at football camps.
He said football was not just a sport but also a form of cultural exchange.
“Saudi Arabia has been of interest to me since the football explosion, and I received a warm welcome from Saudi fans, making me feel special. I am grateful for that. After experiencing wearing the Saudi thobe, I designed another one for myself because I liked it and found it very comfortable. Sports are evolving in the Kingdom, and I wanted to be a part of this development. My presence in this league will bring me experience and benefit.”
He said he committed himself to further education to make the transition to management. “After retirement, I had the desire to continue in the field of football, specifically in coaching, and I read many books related to coaches. It is in my nature, and ever since I was in Liverpool, I loved challenges and taking first place, and this motivates me to give my all here.”
“The difference between being a coach and a former player is that coaching comes with a lot of pressure because you are leading a whole team. It was better for me to gradually progress in the field, starting as a player, then a team manager, and finally, a technical coach.”
He ended his speech by talking about the most beautiful strike in his football career. “The best goal I scored in my career was against Milan in the Champions League final in 2005.”
At the end of the seminar, Gerrard graciously stopped to interact with the fans and posed for photographs — which made it a memorable day for many at Riyadh’s iconic cultural event.