Steven Gerrard: I've been living the dream for 10 years - Liverpool FC latest
STEVEN GERRARD today insisted his desire for success is still as strong as ever as he celebrates his 10th anniversary as a Liverpool player.
The Reds skipper made his debut for Liverpool a decade ago today and he told the ECHO the last 10 years have been the best of his life.
But now Gerrard has his heart set on more success and longs to get his hands on the Premier League trophy before his career draws to a close.
"The anniversary means a lot to me," he said. "It's been a special week and I've been having to pinch myself because I've been living this dream since I first pulled on a red shirt.
"The 10 years seem to have gone by in a flash but there's an old saying that time flies when you're having fun and that's exactly what I've had.
"It's been the best 10 years of my life and hopefully that will continue for many years to come.
"If anything, I'm actually more hungry than ever before.
"I'm desperate for the league title and obviously we've managed to get ourselves into a good position this season and now we just need to keep on plugging away.
"It's safe to say there are still many more trophies I want to win before I hang my boots up."
Gerrard vividly remembers the moment when his Liverpool career got underway as a second half substitute against Blackburn Rovers back in November 1998.
It is something which the 28-year-old says will live with him forever.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "It was one of the best days I've ever had, not just in football but in my whole life.
"The buzz I got and the whole feeling I got when I got the call from the manager and Phil Thompson is something I'll never forget.
"After that game I can remember thinking to myself 'I've done it now, I've played for Liverpool and no-one can ever take that away from me'.
"For me to say that to myself it just goes to show how much I wanted it but the desire is just as strong now as it ever was."
Gerrard cannot see himself keeping on going for another 10 years and believes it would be difficult to emulate Gary MacAllister who continued playing well into his late 30s.
He said: "I don't think I'll keep going for another 10 years. Gary Mac was a one-off. He was a very fit man and was probably fitter at 36 than he was at 26.
"I'd like to stick around for another five or six years definitely but I think another 10 is probably asking a bit much, particularly after the injuries I've had and the way I play.
"I'd be very surprised if I'm still playing football - not just for Liverpool, but for anyone - when I'm 38."
Though delighted to be celebrating yet another landmark in his career at Anfield, Gerrard's main attention is on Monday night's home game against West Ham and he is looking for his team to take all three points even though they will be deprived of the services of Fernando Torres and Fabio Aurelio.
He added: "We've got another important game coming up against West Ham and that's what I'm focusing on now.
"We've had a bit of bad news this week with a couple of injuries but we've got to put that to the back of our minds and look to keep on winning.
"It's also important that we try to improve on our performance against Fulham and try to take all three points. Every game is crucial."