Fresh off his riotous 38 seconds against Manchester United, Steven Gerrard is set to receive the adoration of the Anfield crowd in his charity match / testimonial Sunday (it sold out in 3 hours). It will be Team Gerrard against Team Carragher (managed by Liverpool lifer Roy Evans), and you might be wondering why we're talking about this?
(Did you not read the headline?)
There will be plenty of Liverpool heroes and legends on display, but they will be joined by a few on-pitch rivals as well. John Terry and Thierry Henry have accepted Team Gerrard's call, while Didier Drogba and
Raul Meireles have joined up with Team Carragher.
"I phoned John and straightaway he jumped at the opportunity. He could easily have said he didn't want to come back to Liverpool, but he said he'd love to help the charities, and help Jamie and myself make it a big day. Many people in his position wouldn't have come. He might get a bit of stick on the day but nothing he hasn't taken before. That shows you what type of guy he is by coming and helping out. Credit to him."
"We've got good relationships with players from other clubs. It only took one phone call. They have had to do an awful lot of work to get the agreement of their own manager and their club and do the paperwork. I'm so happy with the reaction we've had."
-Steven Gerrard; source: Liverpool Echo
Team Gerrard (3-4-3):
Brad Jones | John Arne Riise, John Terry, Stephen Warnock | Kevin Nolan, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Ryan Babel | Thierry Henry, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez
Substitutes from: Scott Dann, Ashley Williams, Charlie Adam, Jay Spearing, Anthony Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Rickie Lambert, Joao Carlos Teixeira
Team Carragher (3-4-3):
Pepe Reina | Alvaro Arbeloa, Jamie Carragher, Martin Kelly | Craig Noone, Jonjo Shelvey,
Raul Meireles,* Luis Garcia | Craig Bellamy, Didier Drogba, Dirk Kuyt*
Substitutes from: Peter Gulacsi, Gael Clichy, Stewart Downing, Harry Kewell, Jose Enrique, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Fabio Borini, Jon Flanagan, Mario Balotelli, Jerome Sinclair
* since announcing the starting lineups, both MRLSH and Kuyt have apparently pulled out.
Team loyalties and tribalism aside, this could be a fun time. Just check out that starting forward trio for Team Gerrard! Kick-off is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday), 3pm local time.
(Clocks "spring forward" in the UK and rest of Europe at 1am on Sunday to start daylight savings, by the by.)