When Steven Gerrard pledged his future to Liverpool Football Club during the summer it was, for me, one of the best moments in recent football times.
Obviously, it was great news for every Liverpudlian but I also think it was a good thing for English football as a whole.
There are certain players who belong at certain places. Like Alan Shearer and Newcastle, Gerrard and Liverpool are made for each other. Anfield is where his heart is. He's playing for the club he has always supported and for me that is special.
I don't think Steven is far off being considered one of Liverpool's greatest ever players already and there's no doubt that he'll go down in history as one of the all-time greats.
Gerrard is so fundamental to Liverpool's quest for future success. I'm not saying they can't win matches without him - because under Rafael Benitez they've proved they can but the character of the team is much better with him in it.
Current position: Sunday Telegraph, been there just over 10 years.
How long been covering Liverpool: I started covering Liverpool in the 1976-77 season when I was working as a football reporter for the Guardian and I have many happy memories, particularly the European trips with Liverpool.
Best moment covering Liverpool: It would have to be Istanbul 2005. Milan's performance was the best I have ever seen from a losing team in a European Cup final and showed you just how well Liverpool played.
Best player seen in your time covering Liverpool: Kenny Dalglish.
We saw this in Istanbul and the question you ask yourself is would Liverpool have won the European Cup without Gerrard, and indeed Jamie Carragher, in the team?
Characters such as these can influence games at vital times. Istanbul was pure emotion. You can talk in football about money, the inevitability of players gravitating towards certain clubs and the game being talked of in business terms but what happened in Istanbul was like a chemical reaction. From the spirit shown by players like Gerrard and Carragher everything just took off. All of the Liverpool players ended up playing like demons and defended as if their lives depend on it.
If Steven had gone to another club - and let's face it almost every club in the world would have been forming a big queue to take him - then for me it would have taken some of the character away from Liverpool Football Club. I just think Anfield is a better place because he stayed and hopefully he will be at Liverpool for the rest of his career. Steven Gerrard has a burning passion for Liverpool FC and that's what football is all about.
I think there's no limit to what Steven can achieve with Liverpool and England because he is a learner. I agree with Rafael Benitez when he says Steven Gerrard can get even better as a footballer and I think there are clear signs that he is doing just that.
I always feel in terms of technique and heart he is right up there amongst the best but pace is his most under-rated asset. He is incredibly quick for a midfield player and it wouldn't surprise me if he's one of the quickest players at the club.
The one thing I wasn't sure about him in the past was his tactical discipline and the defensive side of his game but he has improved both these areas immensely this season.
Two or three years ago he went through a spell of committing some rash tackles and I remember him admitting, in an interview I conducted for the Sunday Telegraph, that he had to do something about it. He's also become a much more mature player and I think this stems from the public rocket Gerard Houllier gave him following the Basel game in 2002. The way he has matured as a person since then has contributed to the overall improvement in his game and from what we've seen of him this season, he's getting better and better.
Barclay on Gerrard
The Liverpool captain is in such good form at the moment that I honestly believe he can prove himself to be the best midfielder on the planet at this summer's World Cup. With Benitez transforming Liverpool into a vibrant young side and with Gerrard leading by example as their inspirational skipper there is much for Liverpudlians to look forward to.
Praise also must be attributed to Rafael Benitez because in buying Xabi Alonso he has solved the balance in Liverpool's midfield and Steven now has the licence to get forward and dictate the game much more than he's ever been able to do in the past.
The signing of Momo Sissoko has been another inspired purchase and with such a good team around him in midfield Gerrard now doesn't have to do everything himself, allowing him to concentrate on his own game.
The Liverpool captain is in such good form at the moment that I honestly believe he can prove himself to be the best midfielder on the planet at this summer's World Cup.
With Benitez transforming Liverpool into a vibrant young side and with Gerrard leading by example as their inspirational skipper there is much for Liverpudlians to look forward to.