England captain Steven Gerrard says he is "slightly embarrassed" by the prospect of equalling the number of international appearances made by Bobby Moore in Tuesday’s meeting with Germany at Wembley.
Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has named the Liverpool midfielder in his likely starting XI and Gerrard's 108th international appearance would take him not only level with World Cup-winning captain Moore, but also within 17 appearances of the all-time record currently held by Peter Shilton.
"I'm really humbled and flattered to get to 108 caps alongside Bobby Moore,” the 33-year-old told reporters. “To equal his record is a fantastic achievement; my family and I are very proud. I'm very proud and slightly embarrassed as well – you are talking about a World Cup winner and an iconic figure, someone who was a hero to everyone in the country.”
Gerrard, though, was keen not to let his own milestone overshadow the team’s preparations for Tuesday’s game and was not shy of praising the strength in depth of Joachim Low’s squad.
"For me, the important thing is to try to get the right result against Germany,” he said. “Then I can look back on [the appearance] with fond memories. Every time you play against Germany you want to win the game. I don't think tomorrow is about revenge, or trying to put right what went wrong [in the 2010 World Cup]. We want to win the game, keep trying to improve and try to build on the recent performances against Montenegro and Poland.
"They have got a crop of very young, attacking, exciting players who people like watching. I've been watching a lot of their players in the Champions League this year. Where they have strengthened is that they have got more options, maybe two top players in every position."
Another player named by Hodgson as part of his starting XI was Gerrard’s club teammate Daniel Sturridge, whose fine form has barely lapsed since his January move to Liverpool. He currently is tied atop the Premier League’s scoring charts with eight goals from 10 appearances.
Gerrard, having worked closely with Sturridge with both Liverpool and England, was eager to talk up the striker’s ability and believes it is only a matter of time before he is widely recognized as a top-level forward.
"I was surprised Chelsea let him go," he said. "I had seen flashes of Daniel at Manchester City and also Chelsea and really liked what I saw. But now I have worked with him at close quarters on a daily basis, in the games for Liverpool and England, I'm a huge fan. The stage is set for Daniel to go and prove to everyone that he is a top-class forward. He's certainly got the talent and ability to do it."
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- Bobby Moore
- Daniel Sturridge