Spain international Xabi Alonso has hailed Steven Gerrard, saying the Liverpool captain is among the best midfielders in the world.
Reds hero Gerrard marked his 600th game for the Merseyside club on Sunday, helping Brendan Rodgers’ side to a 1-1 draw with Newcastle at Anfield.
Alonso, who played alongside the Huyton-born midfielder for a five-year period between 2004 and 2009, believes Gerrard could be a lynchpin for any team in the world.
“He could play in any national team in the world because he has so many great qualities,” Alonso told Real Madrid TV.
“He is flexible. He can play at the English pace or he can associate with the ball very well. He is a very intelligent player, so he could play anywhere – not just any national team but any club in the world. But he has been a one-club man and that’s something I really admire.”
Real Madrid man Alonso also revealed how influential Gerrard has been on his own career, explaining that the way he conducted himself both on and off the pitch left a lasting impression.
“We are great friends and we still keep in touch. He was a great influence to me,” Alonso continued.
“When I arrived at Liverpool I was 22 and he was the captain, he was the main man at the club.
“For me he was a reference, the way he behaved with his teammates and with the supporters as well. I learned a lot from him.
“As a captain he has embraced all the responsibilities of being a captain and he’s the perfect captain for Liverpool, not just because he’s a great player but because he represents the values of the club.”