It’s a question often asked in England: who was the better midfielder, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard or Paul Scholes?
You can make a solid argument for each of them, with all three enjoying magnificent careers.
Steven Gerrard may not have won the Premier League but he captained his boyhood club, Liverpool, for 12 seasons, scoring incredible and important goals as he lifted two FA Cups, a UEFA Cup and the Champions League in 2005.
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Of course, his career will unfortunately be remembered for his calamitous slip against Chelsea at Anfield, which ultimately cost Liverpool the Premier League title.
Then, there’s Frank Lampard. He set the all-time goalscoring record for Chelsea with 211 goals as a midfielder during his time at the club. His career in west London was glittered with silverware as he won three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, a Europa League and a Champions League.
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And finally, there’s Paul Scholes. He amassed 718 appearances at Manchester United and played a pivotal role in the club’s domination of English football during his 20 seasons at Old Trafford. He lifted an incredible 11 league titles, three FA Cups and two Champions Leagues during his time at the Red Devils.
So who was better?
One man that thinks he has the answer is Portugal legend Deco.
The midfielder played alongside Lampard at Chelsea, played against Gerrard on numerous occasions but feels that it was Scholes that was the most talented of the three.
“I played with and against so many fantastic players in midfield like Gerrard,” Deco told Squawka.
“I had the opportunity to play with Lampard together at Chelsea. I think, because he was a different type of player to all other types of English midfielder, Paul Scholes was the best player that I saw playing for an English midfield and one of the best players in the world.”
Deco also explained the reasons behind his decision. He believes that Scholes’ ability to dictate possession made him a more important player than Gerrard and Lampard - who he considered a ‘box-to-box’ midfielders.
“I think at the moment there are some great players like that,” Deco said.
“At Madrid, Modric. Iniesta is still playing. Xavi. In my generation, Paul Scholes was a player like that. There are not so many players with this style because I think most of the players are box-to-box, not about controlling the game, keeping the balance of the team.”
The Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes question will always be an ongoing debate in pubs up and down the country.
One thing is certain, all three were fantastic midfielders and maybe we should appreciate their talents rather than constantly comparing them against each other.
It's just a shame they couldn't achieve anything for their national team.