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Jason McAteer believes that Steven Gerrard could the best player in the world at the moment.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer has expressed his belief that Steven Gerrard is the greatest midfielder in the world, claiming that the closest anyone comes to competing for the best in Gerrard's position is Brazilian superstar Kaka.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, McAteer shared his thoughts,"When a player like Steven Gerrard, arguably the best player in the world at the moment, gets space then he'll hurt you all day long.

"You can't really compare him to Lionel Messi because they both influence the game in different ways.

"The closest to Steven Gerrard at the moment is probably Kaka - and I would say Gerrard is above him in the best player ratings.

"He influences the team all over and it's not just about the goals. It's what he does off the ball, his movement and the way he brings players into the game."

Gerrard has managed to net six goals in his last three games for the Reds, and recently claimed his first Premier League hat-trick for the club.

Despite the skipper's talismanic attributes and recent form, McAteer believes that Liverpool's success of late can be credited to the team as a whole.

The retired midfielder also professed that the Anfield outfit do not enjoy the same kind of squad depth as rivals Manchester United, and worries that the international break might affect Rafa Benitez's selection options even further.

"If you look up and down the spine of Liverpool's team you've got [Pepe]Reina playing fantastically well - then there's [Jamie]Carragher, Gerrard and [Fernando]Torres.

"When those four players are on their game they'll influence the rest of the team. Fabio Aurelio has been absolutely brilliant in the last four or five games and Albert Riera played fantastically well on Sunday. We know all about Dirk Kuyt too. The whole team has played collectively.

"Unfortunately, what I'm worried about is this international break. It's just come at the wrong time - but it's a great time for Manchester United.

"Sir Alex Ferguson can go away, take stock of what's happened, bring his team back together and go from there.

"Liverpool will want to go out and play another league game. It's all about keeping those players fit because their squad's not as strong as Manchester United's."

Off the back of 'Pool's recent results, McAteer believes that the team have the momentum to go on and win the Premier League title, but concedes that his former club does not possess the experience that Sir Alex Ferguson's squad has.

"I don't think you can ever write Liverpool off," he added.

"I've seen them a lot this season and they've not been in great form, but they've been hard to beat and when the chips have been down they've nicked points.

"We've had a lot of luck, but I was just waiting for them to find a bit of form and they've certainly done that over the last three games.

"I haven't seen them play better than this all season.

"But you can't rule out Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson's got the blueprint, he's done it year in year out and we'll see how his players react.

"Winning this Premier League title is new to Rafa Benitez, but we've got the confidence and momentum to go into games and turn teams over."

Stephen Crawford, Goal.com