Steven Gerrard admitted he was overjoyed to have put pen to paper on a contract extension with Liverpool and revealed his belief that the team are heading firmly in the right direction towards success.
The Reds captain inked his new deal at Melwood on Monday morning and immediately afterwards, sat down with LFC TV to express his delight and hopes for the future.
Here's what he had to say in full...
Steven, first of all, many congratulations - news announced today that you've signed a new contract with Liverpool Football Club. What does it mean to you?
I think everyone knows what it means to me. I've been here that long and so to extend, it's a big day for me and I'm really happy for myself and family. It's great news.
You still had time left on your existing contract, so how important was it for you to get an extension?
It lets me know the club thinks an awful lot of me and want me here. There was a year left [on my contract] which was quite unusual - I think it was the first time I've got that far down into a contract. I'm glad it's all done and it's happened at the right time before the season, so I can just focus on playing as well as I can for the next two years.
Does it help to focus the mind knowing that you're not going to face questions from the media about running your contract down?
Yes, I think so. I don't want to be talking about myself or my contract situation going into a season. The contract was first mentioned by the manager in March and in a couple of interviews I was asked quite a bit about the contract. It takes your mind away from the football, so fair play to the club - the timing is spot on. It's all done and dusted and now I can just focus on the football side.
You've spoken many times about your relationship with Liverpool supporters, so what do you hope this news means to them?
I hope they're really happy. The relationship is mutual - the respect they have for me and they know how much I love them, so it's a two-way thing. People talk about my loyalty to the football club because I've been here all the way through, but the club have been very loyal to me all the way throughout my career and always rewarded me at the right times with deals. They've always told me what they think about me and that's very important as a footballer, to know that you're loved.
Your relationship with the manager Brendan Rodgers seems to be going from strength to strength every day - how would you describe that relationship?
I think it's perfect. I've got a lot of respect for Brendan as a coach, but also as a guy as well. I've loved every minute of working with him since he came through the door and I hope he is here for certainly the next couple of years. I want to work with him more. The relationship is growing and I feel as if he is the man to take this club forward.
New players coming into the club and a positive start to pre-season at the weekend, it must be massively encouraging for you looking ahead to the future...
Yes, it is. I've got a lot of confidence and belief in my teammates and in the coaches we've got. That's the reason why I feel as if we can move forward together and get success back soon. Every fan out there, and the players are no different - we want to see a few more faces to strengthen the team and squad even more. It is an exciting time when you get a couple of new faces in to freshen the squad up - you're at the beginning of the season and it's a fresh start, there are trophies to be won and things to achieve. I won't lie to you, I'm really excited at the moment.
Is it possible for you to say how important these next 12 months are for you, not only for Liverpool but for England, too?
It's a big year - it's a World Cup year. We've got a lot of hard work to do to get to the World Cup first and foremost. As a footballer, you concentrate on the next game and it's very important you're not distracted by the thought of qualifying or getting to a World Cup - you worry about that whenyou're on international duty. For me, my priority at the moment is Stoke and getting the season off to a winning start, trying to stay fit throughout pre-season and getting as fit as I can personally. All of the lads are trying to do the same. The training has been really, really tough - it's been brutal at times - but I think the team is going to be a lot fitter this year and hopefully we can start the season really well.