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Zidane: Gerrard England retirement massive for Liverpool

Zinedine Zidane feels Steven Gerrard's international retirement will lift Liverpool this season. Gerrard has stepped down as England captain this week.

World Cup winner Zidane, now in charge of Real Madrid Castilla, said: "It is a big decision - but I can understand it and I think it will be good for Liverpool.

"Liverpool showed last season that they are close to achieving something special - and it is so important they have their captain available.

"They are back in the Champions League this season - and as you get older you have to accept you can't play every game for club and country.

"I am sure it was not an easy decision for Steven - but I think it is the right one for himself and Liverpool.

"I remember how surprised people were when Paul Scholes retired from playing for England - but Manchester United saw the benefit of that.

"He was winning Premier League titles until his late 30s - and now Steven doesn't have the responsibility of playing for England - you feel he can replicate that with Liverpool."

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