Gerrard Takes Zidane's Praise With 'A Pinch Of Salt'

Liverpool's talismanic captain is not allowing Zizou's glittering appraisal of him to go to his head.
Scouse skipper Steven Gerrard - forever a key influence on affairs with club-side Liverpool - was a recent recipient of high praise from one of world football's most esteemed stars, Zinedine Zidane, but the 28-year-old has played down the comments aired that he is 'the world's best'.

Gerrard has flourished in the current campaign under Rafa Benitez in a relatively new role, supplementing silky Spanish striker Fernando Torres, and can brag of a strike rate of 1:2 in the Premier League.

The England international, who is in line to receive his 71st and 72nd caps this week against Slovakia and Ukraine, refuses to let the astounding commendation go to his head, and told BBC Radio 5 Live, "I was flattered, but took the comments with a pinch of salt. I'm really happy with my form but I don't think I'm the best; not at all."

Zidane made the bold declaration following the thrashing dealt out by Liverpool to the legendary Frenchman's former club Real Madrid.

"He might not get the attention of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo but, yes, I think he just might be [the best in the world]," Zidane claimed.

Gerrard though is adamant that he can continue to improve, and hopes to translate his exemplary club form onto the international arena. "I am aware that I do need to be consistent for my country and to try and reproduce my Liverpool form. But I think since the new manager has come in my form has improved.

"It was frustrating to miss the last two games but I scored in my last outing and helped set up a couple of goals. It's very important to perform well for both this club and England - the idea is to finish the season strongly with Liverpool and then to be successful as we go into the World Cup year," he said.

"Hopefully we'll qualify as I'd love nothing better than to have a fantastic World Cup and to perform on such a stage."

Alan Dawson,