Gerrard now 'real' captain

  • Last Updated: June 7 2014, 5:40 BST

Steven Gerrard is looking forward to a World Cup where he finally feels respected as England captain.

The press conference with Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard.
The press conference with Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard will move ahead of Alan Shearer and John Terry to become the fifth longest-serving England captain - in terms of matches - when he leads the team out against Honduras on Saturday at Sun Life stadium.

There will be no prouder man in the England squad than Gerrard when he takes to the field as captain during the finals in Brazil in a week's time, when Italy will present the opposition.

This is not the first time Gerrard has worn the armband in a World Cup. He did so in South Africa four years ago, but he was skipper by default.

Gerrard only got the captaincy because Rio Ferdinand injured his knee during England's first training session in Rustenburg.

"This is the second time I've been captain at a World Cup, but this time it's for real," he said.

Other than the four England matches in South Africa, Gerrard only captained his national side on another four occasions under Capello despite being regarded as one of the best leaders in the Premier League with Liverpool.

When John Terry was stripped of the captaincy for the first time in 2010 due to allegations about his private life, Capello turned to Ferdinand.

"Capello didn't believe in me as his number one captain," Gerrard said.

"He did believe in me as a player, he rated me as a player, and our relationship was fine.

"But at the time we picked the captain, he had Rio Ferdinand and John Terry and he thought they offered something different. I was third-choice up to him."

There is a much stronger belief in Gerrard's leadership skills from the current England coach.

Roy Hodgson installed Gerrard as his skipper from day one and that has left the 33-year-old full of belief in his own leadership ability.

"Roy has the confidence in me to be the captain this time," said Gerrard. "I'll enjoy it more as captain rather than vice-captain this time round, of course."

England enjoyed a near faultless qualifying record ahead of the 2010 World Cup under Capello, but they came home from South Africa following a second-round pummeling at the hands of Germany.

Gerrard believes the squad for this summer's tournament is far stronger. He has seen at close quarters how good Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson have been at club level this year.

The Liverpool captain has been enthused by the development of other newcomers like Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley.

"The standard in the squad (is better)," he said. "There are two players pushing in every position to get into the 11, and there's not much between them in every position.

"The manager could pick five teams for the Italy game and you wouldn't see a big difference in the standard. That's what gives me hope."