Jermain Defoe, by his own admission loves scoring goals. That is why he wants to remain in Rangers, why he wishes to play in his 40s, and why Steven Gerrard has discovered not to bother asking if he needs a rest…
On the eve of his 37th birthday, Defoe did exactly what he has been performing for nearly two years. He also watched a hat-trick, also shipped Rangers top of their Scottish Premiership ahead of rivals Celtic for the first time in 10 months.
It took Defoe into 12 goals this year, and prompted Rangers fans to split into the chant that has become popular place among the terraces at Ibrox.
I recall the first time I scored for Rangers, the fans started singing the song and I talked to my mum later. She was just likewow, Defoe informs Sky Sports News.
Getting to know the man behind the goals is well worthwhile. Defoe was awarded an OBE in November because of his dedication and contribution to both football and charity. The honour was also dedicated by him last year, to his friend Bradley Lowery, who passed away from a rare kind of cancer.
Manager Steven Gerrard knows all about Defoe from their period as England team-mates. The pair are often with Defoes present deal set to expire next summer, in conversation over a new contract to the striker.
He is explained to me hes delighted with how Im playing but not just that, with how Im around the area with all the younger lads, helping everyone, says Defoe. It was fine for him to say .
Theres little doubt in Defoes thoughts. His loved ones appreciate life in Glasgow. I need to remain, he says. Its a distinctive football club you feel it.
However, Defoe is looking beyond next year. Asked if he could extend his career to his 40s, Defoe says:The way I feel now, easily.
I do everything [to prepare matches], which can be easy for me. My retrieval, training, understanding how to manage myself. All of the things you ought to do, I do. I believe its displaying in my performances.
Defoes ability to man-manage himself is hes not seen working beneath a in Gerrard difficult.
If youre a manager you have to turn into a bit different, youre the manager, states Defoe. But there is times when he does not say anything because he knows me. There is times when he says to medo you really need a down daya day and rest – because he knows Ill sayno that I want to play . He knows me. He is my ex-team-mate and that he knows I enjoy scoring goals.
Four wins from four with 17 goals scored and just one conceded on Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the year, Rangers wont have desired the break to disrupt their momentum. Gerrard has said it is too early for title talk before faltering year afterwards Rangers spent time, and Defoe has cautioned his team-mates to steer clear.
You do not wish to boast about being top of the league, there is still quite a way to go, he states. We have to respect our neighbours, everybody in the league and then keep what were doing.
When youre raising the trophy in the end then you are able to certainly do what you want and properly celebrate.