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Gerrard to realise Wembley dream
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is set to fulfil a boyhood dream on Sunday when he leads his side out at Wembley for the Carling Cup final.
The England international has won a host of medals for the Merseyside club after he helped the Reds to two FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League. However, Gerrard has never led Liverpool out at Wembley - something he admits has always been an ambition since he first watched his side lose to Manchester United there in 1996.
The Reds won four major trophies during the five seasons that English domestic cup finals were held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo: "When growing up as a kid, I dreamed about playing in cup finals at Wembley. Then when I became captain of Liverpool, I dreamed about leading the team out there."
He added: "Every time I played for Liverpool at Cardiff and led the team out there, there was a bit of me thinking 'if only this was Wembley'.
"Don't get me wrong, we had some great days in Cardiff and I've got some fantastic memories of playing at the Millennium Stadium, but I'd have preferred to have won those trophies at Wembley."
Wembley holds special memories for the Reds skipper as he made his England debut at the old ground 12 years ago before captaining his country at the new stadium. And Gerrard cannot wait to lead out his side wearing the red shirt of Liverpool - the club he has played for during his entire career.
"Wembley cup finals are magnificent occasions. I've been there as a supporter and as a player. I know everyone is excited about Sunday and I can't wait to get back there," he said.
"To finally get the chance to achieve that with Liverpool will be amazing. I've experienced both the old and the new Wembley and I can tell you it's a very special place.
"You walk out and are hit by the number of people there. It's new and it's modern but the buzz is just the same as it was.
"There's the drive up to it, up Wembley Way. Instead of the twin towers, there's now the massive arch. It's a magnificent arena and one of the best I've ever played in."