Zidane hails Steven Gerrard

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French legend Zinedine Zidane has labeled Steven Gerrard the best player in the world.

England midfielder Gerrard scored twice in Liverpool's 4-0 success over Zidane's former club Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Zidane said: "Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo but yes, I think he just might be.

"If you don’t have a player like Steven Gerrard, who is the engine room, it can affect the whole team.

"When we were winning league titles and European Cups at Real, I always said Claude Makélélé was our most important player.

"There is no way myself, Figo or Raúl would have been able to do what we did without Claude and the same goes for Liverpool and Gerrard.

"When Claude left us for Chelsea I campaigned for us to buy Patrick Vieira and Gerrard is now in the same mould as him.

"For many years, Patrick was the most complete midfielder in the world and now that award must go to Gerrard.

"No team will be successful without a heartbeat and you can see Gerrard is that heartbeat.

"He has great passing ability, can tackle and scores goals, but most importantly he gives the players around him confidence and belief.

"You can’t learn that — players like him are just born with that presence."

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