Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool icon, plain and simple. Part of a generation of world-class midfielders including Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Andreas Inieta and Xavi, Gerrard snubbed advances from the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid to remain at his boyhood club.
Following on from his dominant displays on the pitch, Gerrard transferred his leadership qualities to the dugout, where he guided Rangers to glory in Scotland.
But, perhaps feeling he took them as far as he could, Gerrard has now made a sensational return to the Premier League with Aston Villa.
It's a risk for both club and manager, with Villa wanting to establish themselves in the top 10 of the Premier League, while Gerrard is undoubtedly angling for the Liverpool job. As we look forward to his return, let's run through a handful of his most iconic moments.
Superb strike against rivals Manchester United
Having made his debut for Liverpool in 1998 as an 18-year-old, the 2000/01 campaign proved to be a breakthrough campaign.
And it was this moment against arch-rivals Manchester United in particular that put him on the road to Liverpool greatness.
In the highly-anticipated fixture at Anfield, United were gunning for revenge having lost the reverse fixture 1-0. However, Gerrard had other ideas as he etched his name into the history books with a sublime strike. Gathering a lay-off from Robbie Fowler, he advanced before hitting an unstoppable shot past Fabian Barthez from range.
The opener put Liverpool on their way to a 2-0 victory and their first Premier League double over United.
A goal in England's 5-1 win over Germany
After being handed his England debut a day after his 20th birthday, Gerrard had to wait a further ten months to score his first international goal for his country, but what a way to get it.
England faced Germany in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier, with their hosts needing only one more win to qualify for Japan and South Korea.
Germany looked well on their way when they took an early lead but no one could have foreseen what was to come next.
England equalised through Michael Owen and were then awarded a free-kick on the cusp of half-time.
David Beckham's initial delivery came to nothing but when the ball found its way out to Gerrard 25 yards out, the Liverpudlian made no mistake. The midfielder chested the ball down and then arrowed a shot into the bottom corner Gerrard to send England into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Emboldened by the goal, England would go on to humiliate Germany 5-1 with Owen completing a hat-trick and Emile Heskey scoring the fifth.
A familiar script but this time in the Champions League
Spectacular goals were becoming a familiar theme for Gerrard but this time, he did it on a famous European night at Anfield.
Needing to beat Olympiakos by two goals in their final group game to qualify for the knockout stages, Liverpool were trailing at the break to a free-kick from Brazilian legend Rivaldo.
Half-time substitute Florent Sinama Pongolle levelled the scores before Neil Mellor grabbed a second.
And, with just five minutes of normal time remaining and the Reds needing a third, it was their captain Gerrard who saved the day.
Coming on to Mellor's cushioned header at the edge of the box, Gerrard connected with a half-volley that flew past Antonis Nikopolidis and into the back of the Greeks' net. It sparked the legendary commentary from Andy Gray: "You beauty, what a hit son."
The miracle of Istanbul
Gerrard's heroics in the final group stage match sent Liverpool on a Champions League run that would see them overcome Jose Mourinho's Chelsea and Juventus on their way to the final in Istanbul. Another Italian side stood in their way of glory in AC Milan.
Carlo Ancelotti's Milan were regarded as the favourites before kick-off with Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo and Kaka all starting.
Milan took a first-minute lead through Maldini and were 3-0 up at the break courtesy of a Hernan Crespo brace.
It looked like an impossible task for Liverpool.
However, as they had shown against Olympiakos, Liverpool were no quitters and Gerrard was never too far away from producing something special.
Liverpool came out in the second half all guns blazing and it was that man Gerrard who gave his side a lifeline, lifting a header past goalkeeper Dida to make it 3-1.
Vladimir Smicer soon added a second goal to really set the final alight.
Moments later, it was Gerrard again who provided the inspiration with a run into the box that was ended illegally by Gennaro Gattuso.
Xabi Alonso converted the penalty to make it 3-3 and take it to extra-time. With no further goals, an incredible display from Reds keeper Jerzy Dudek in the shootout propelled Liverpool to a fifth European Cup.
However, it was Gerrard who was named man of the match, helping him go on to win UEFA Club Footballer of the Year.
The Gerrard Final
A proven big-game player, Gerrard once again underlined his reputation in the 2006 FA Cup final. Liverpool had seen off Manchester United and Chelsea on their way to a final against Alan Pardew's West Ham. Clear favourites, Liverpool found themselves 2-0 down to a Jamie Carragher own goal and a lethal Dean Ashton finish.
The Merseyside club pulled a goal back before half-time but it was Gerrard's second-half exploits that went into the history books. Gerrard's emphatic volley levelled the encounter at 2-2 before Paul Konchesky's overhit cross restored the Hammers' lead.
In the 91st minute and with Liverpool still trailing, the ball fell to Gerrard 25 yards out - which meant one thing and one thing only.
A ferocious first-time strike glided past Shaka Hislop to send the game into extra time.
Liverpool went on to win the final on penalties, with Gerrard (naturally) converting his kick in a game now dubbed the Gerrard Final.
Merseyside derby hat-trick
On March 13, 2012, Gerrard marked his 400th Premier League appearance with something special - a hat-trick against derby rivals Everton.
With Liverpool out of form, Everton were eyeing their first win at Anfield since 1999 and a chance to leapfrog their near-neighbours.
However, Gerrard produced yet another masterclass when it mattered most.
Restored to the starting line-up after thigh problems, the captain gave Liverpool the lead 11 minutes from half-time, collecting a loose ball and lifting it over Tim Howard.
Gerrard added a second shortly after the restart with a flying effort in front of the Kop. The Liverpool man completed his hat-trick in the dying moments of the game with a simple finish.
It completed a momentous day for Gerrard who became the first player to score a hat-trick in the Merseyside derby since Ian Rush in 1982.
Achieving great things in charge of Rangers
Gerrard retired from playing in 2016 after a season in MLS with LA Galaxy and was appointed youth coach at his boyhood club just weeks later.
After impressing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Gerrard was tasked with coaching the under-18s and then the under-19s.
Gerrard was then named the new Rangers manager on June 1, 2018, replacing Graeme Murty.
In his first season he guided Rangers to their first win over Celtic in an Old Firm game since 2012 but would see them finish second to their Glasgow rivals.
Another runners-up spot in 2019/20 would not prevent him being linked to roles south of the border. However, he remained at Rangers and was rewarded in 2020/21 when the Gers went through the season unbeaten to claim their first league title in ten years.