glance at the emotional faces around him. Next to the Liverpool skipper was Robbie Fowler, listening in hushed reverence. And it was then, at that poignant moment, that a memory sparked for Gerrard that he will take into tonights Champions League semi-final as the ultimate inspiration. I whispered to Robbie that I could picture perfectly the days I stood on the Kop, and literally got carried 20 or 30 yards as the crowd surged forward when he scored a goal, the
Merseysideborn star recalled, with a hint of awe in his voice. God it was incredible. I would watch the likes of Ian Rush and Aldo, then as I got older John Barnes, Jamie Redknapp and Robbie, and hope and pray and dream like mad that it would be me one day. I never even bothered dreaming that I would ever be
captain - that would be too mad - just that I would set foot out on that pitch, just the once. And dya know what, even now, I cant put into words what it feels like to be living that dream. That is what Gerra
rd will be doing at Stamford Bridge this evening... living the dream. Playing in such a massive game, with the prize of a Champions League Final place at stake, still brings a wide-eyed expression to the England midfielders face, that belies the cynicism associated with professional football these days. I know it sounds hollow talking about dreams and prizes when footballers earn all the money we do, but the things Ive got at home, the medals and memorabilia, they mean more to me than ex
tra noughts in my bank account, Gerrard explained. Lifting the Champions League trophy above my head as the captain of my team, its something that lives with you forever. People have this image of footballers now, driving flash cars, leading incredible lifestyles, having all that glamour. But there are sacrifices too, big ones through all your young life if you want any chance of making it.Behind the glitz Ive had to give a hell of a lot of blood and sweat over the years, some tears as well. When you get that trophy above your head, and you get that feeling in your head, that buzz, that sense of being alive,
then it is all worth it, believe me. We won the trophy two years ago, and maybe people dismissed the achievement a little. Maybe they even said we were a bit lucky, but we werent, he added. We have shown for the last three years that we are a force in Europe, that we are a team everyone fears. And if we can win it again this year, then we will go down in history as another great Liverpool side... not just a good one. That is what drives me on, and the rest of the players. I want to be remembered as a captain who lifted the trophy twice, or even more. I want to be remembered along with those Liverpool greats like Hughes and Thompson, Souness, Neal and Dalglish. That is why you will see us out there giving it everything on Wednesday, working so hard to give every single ounce of energy we have. Because we want that and we can taste it again. At Anfield, there is a real belief they can do it too. They are sick of the carping from Stamford Bridge about Luis Garcias goal that won the tie two years ago - the moaning that it didnt cross the line a joke according to the skipper. While Gerrard knows how incredibly tight and difficult the matches will be, he also knows that lifting the trophy again is possible... because he can feel it in his blood again. I dont want to tempt fate, but there are very similar feelings to 2005. Maybe it will be tougher for us this year because nobody underestimates us any more, but we do have that feeling again, he said. In Europe, we deserve to be recognised as one of the top teams, as the team to beat even. We know Chelsea are a good side, and really it is so close its probably 50-50 who goes through. Its exciting, and we cant wait. For Gerrard in fact, it is a dream that he is living to the full.