Steven Gerrard names two players he 'pretended to like' for England

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Considering the incredible squads England have had in recent years, it’s a mystery how the Three Lions haven’t been more successful.

The likes of Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney have all been in the same line-up together and still England haven’t come anywhere near winning their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

But why?

Why didn’t Scholes, Lampard and Gerrard form an incredible midfield that competed against the best national sides in the world?

Rivalry, perhaps.

With Scholes representing Manchester United for his entire career, Gerrard being a Liverpool legend and Lampard a Chelsea hero, it seemed their club rivalry proved too much for England.

And that theory was pretty much confirmed by Gerrard himself.

After hanging up his boots, the midfielder now works for BT Sport as a pundit.

It’s an avenue that some of Gerrard’s former England teammates have gone down with Rio Ferdinand working alongside him on BT, while Gary Neville is a star on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football alongside Jamie Carragher.

Previews - UEFA Champions League Final

While Gerrard now has respect for Ferdinand and Neville as fellow pundits, he’s explained that wasn’t quite the case when they teamed up the national side.

Gerrard 'pretended to like' two England players

In fact, he’s even admitted to “pretending to like them” when playing for England.

"When you're lining up against in the tunnel against Rio and Gary Neville you want to do everything in your power to beat them, there's hatred there, that's exactly how it is," he said at his first ever Steven Gerrard Live event in Belfast.

"When you meet up for England at that time, you pretend you like them, but your career finishes, their career finishes and your friendship starts for real.

England's (back row: left-right) Ben Fos

"I've got nothing but respect for Rio as a player, played for a top club all his life, he's a good fella as well, I'm enjoying the role at BT with him as well."

It’s certainly an interesting insight into players’ mindset when they meet up for England.

But Spain can do it...

However, if Spain can do it, why can’t England?

The Spanish squad consists largely of Real Madrid and Barcelona players them the two clubs having a hatred for each other on the domestic stage.

Spain Training Session and Press Conference

But the likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos put their differences aside when playing together for La Roja - something that has allowed them to be incredibly successful in recent years.

Maybe England players should take note.

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Rio Ferdinand
Philippe Coutinho
Ryan Giggs

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