England defender Glen Johnson is full of praise for the efforts of captain Steven Gerrard at Euro 2012.
The Liverpool duo endured a difficult season at Anfield, despite claiming League Cup glory under former boss Kenny Dalglish, but have got straight down to business on the international stage for Roy Hodgson’s men.
Nobody has performed better than Gerrard for the Three Lions in Poland and Ukraine, and Johnson believes that taking the armband has helped propel the 32-year-old to the next level for his country.
"Steven has been a fantastic player for many, many years, but with the armband I think he feels he needs to step up just that tiny bit more, and I think he's done it more than anyone so far," Johnson told the gathered media.
England players have often been criticised in the past for not replicating club form when playing for their country, but Gerrard has certainly been able to find the drive and determination that makes him such a favorite with Reds fans on Merseyside this summer.
His performances have also helped put England in a position where fans think they might be able to win the tournament, and Johnson didn’t want to rule that possibility out ahead of Sunday’s quarter-final against Italy in Kyiv.
"Any team in the tournament has got a chance of winning it," Johnson added.
"The first objective was to get out of the group, we did that very well by winning the group, so now it's a one-off game and in a one-off game you can beat anyone."