Soccer

Steven Gerrard surprisingly names Jude Bellingham and Mateo Kovacic in his top five midfielders


Steven Gerrard surprisingly names Jude Bellingham and Mateo Kovacic in his top six midfielders in the world currently… with pair joining Fabinho, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Mason Mount in Aston Villa boss’ list

  • Steven Gerrard is regarded as one of the game’s finest ever midfielders 
  • The ex-Liverpool star now faces is former club as manager of Aston Villa 
  • Rio Ferdinand asked his former England team-mate some quick-fire questions 
  • And Gerrard had a couple of surprise inclusions for his top midfielders right now 

Steven Gerrard has sprung a surprise by naming Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham in his top six midfielders in the world right now.

The Aston Villa boss is regarded as one of the finest midfielders to have ever played the game, scoring 185 goals for Liverpool in 710 appearances along with 21 in 114 England caps.

Gerrard now welcomes his former club to Villa Park on Wednesday night and his former Three Lions team-mate Rio Ferdinand caught up with him beforehand to ask him some quick-fire questions.

Steven Gerrard has named Jude Bellingham in his top five midfielders in the world right now

Steven Gerrard has named Jude Bellingham in his top five midfielders in the world right now

Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic

Man City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne

The Aston Villa boss also included Mateo Kovacic (L) and heaped praise on Kevin De Bruyne (R)

And when asked by the former Manchester United defender for BT Sport to name his top five midfielders playing anywhere in the world right now, the Villa boss – who actually went on to name six – had a couple of shock inclusions.

Gerrard first named Borussia Dortmund and England star Bellingham, who already has 12 England caps to his name at the age of 18 and has attracted interest from Liverpool for his exploits in the Bundesliga.

The 41-year-old said he ‘absolutely loves’ watching Bellingham play, before naming a rather more obvious choice in Manchester City and Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne ‘without a shadow of a doubt’.

Gerrard also included Chelsea and England midfielder Mason Mount on his list

Gerrard also included Chelsea and England midfielder Mason Mount on his list

Man City and Spain midfielder Rodri

Liverpool and Brazil star Fabinho

Gerrard then completed his list with Man City and Liverpool stars Rodri (L) and Fabinho (R) 

Gerrard then insists he was choosing primarily attacking midfielders, before also praising Chelsea and England midfielder Mason Mount, another player he said he ‘loves’ watching because ‘of what he is doing.’

After giving himself time to ponder his selections more, Gerrard then added Mount’s Blues team-mate Mateo Kovacic to his list, before breaking his rule of sticking to attacking players and to a limit of five by choosing No 6s in Fabinho and Rodri.

But Gerrard reserved special praise for De Bruyne, who he said would be his top pick from the five – excluding his own Villa players who he would ‘put before anyone’ –  because he claims he sees qualities of all the brilliant midfielders he faced in the Belgian.

‘Kevin De Bruyne for me is an absolute specialist midfielder,’ he added. ‘I see bits of all the top midfielders I played against in him. He is a combination of them all. I think he is top.’

Gerrard added Roy Keane (c) and Patrick Vieira (R) were the toughest opponents he faced

Gerrard added Roy Keane (c) and Patrick Vieira (R) were the toughest opponents he faced

He also included Claude Makelele (R) in that category once he was moved further forward

He also included Claude Makelele (R) in that category once he was moved further forward

Gerrard also opened up on his toughest opponent, but could not split former Man United and Arsenal captains Patrick Vieira because ‘you always knew you were in a game of football against those two.’

He also added ‘top’ former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele to the pair when he moved to play as a No 10 behind Fernando Torres at Anfield. 

When asked to compare himself with Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes, Gerrard shied away from talking about himself but described the Everton boss as ‘ruthless in terms of numbers’ but said the ex-Man United star controlled games more naturally. 

He then labelled his ex-England team-mates as ‘top but in very different ways’ and spoke about the honour of being ‘spoken in the same breath as them’. 

Gerrard also heaped praise on ex-England team-mates Frank Lampard (L) and Paul Scholes (c)

Gerrard also heaped praise on ex-England team-mates Frank Lampard (L) and Paul Scholes (c)



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