Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/14/12
Steven Gerrard has spoken of his pride as he prepares to lead England for his 100th cap in Sweden on Wednesday night. The inspirational Kop skipper will become only the sixth player to notch up a century of appearances with the Three Lions and he admits it’s a massive honour. “Reaching 100 caps is something I never thought I’d achieve,” said Gerrard. “Growing up, getting turned down at the national school at 14 and not getting picked for England for the U-15s, there have been times when I never thought I’d even get one cap. “To be here on the eve of 100 is an unbelievable achievement for myself and my family. “It’s difficult to put into words, because when I speak about it the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s unbelievable. “Some of the players I’ve played with have not got to that milestone. There’s been great players before me and ones I’ve played with who haven’t done it. It’s a very flattering achievement.” Despite reaching the milestone, a brutally honest Gerrard is eager to play down suggestions he is an England hero and claims the only Three Lions legends are the 1966 World Cup winning team. “They [the 1966 World Cup winners] will still always be heroes of mine and heroes of the English public,” he added. “In football, the hero and legend status is given out far too easily for me. As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes, the rest haven’t really delivered, for me.” Asked how he would rate his overall performances in the white shirt of England, he said: “How much would I give myself? Six, seven? I have always tried to give my best for England and every time I have played I have given it all I have got.”

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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