It will be some time before English football witnesses another pair of midfielders as talented as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
The pair became legends at Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, winning multiple trophies and producing their best stuff when it really matters.
Of course, England fans will always feel a sense of regret that Gerrard and Lampard never made it work on the international stage.
They were part of the Golden Generation that was expected to end England’s long wait for international glory, but couldn’t manage anything better than appearances in the quarter-final stage of the 2006 World Cup.
Speaking on BT Sport this week, Lampard and Gerrard both attributed their inability to turn their talent into trophies on the rivalries they felt at club level.
“You feel so passionately about the club you play with your team-mates, your own performances that to be a bit pally with someone you're competitive with... it may have [held back England],” Lampard said.
“We didn't hate each other but by nature we would sit on different tables.”
Gerrard, who won 114 caps for England, added: “I think it was more of a respectful relationship around England rather than a closeness where there was love there.”
It’s a fascinating insight into the struggles of a squad that also included David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.
Giggs has picked between Gerrard and Lampard
All football fans will have their opinion on whether Gerrard or Lampard was the better player, and now Ryan Giggs has weighed in on the debate.
The Manchester United hero played against both during his illustrious career and so he’s in a fine position to name the better midfielder.
Lampard may have been instrumental in helping Chelsea win three Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2012, but Giggs has opted for Gerrard.
“I would pick Gerrard," Giggs told Super 6. "I think he was the complete midfielder. He went from an attacking midfielder - box-to-box - to a holding midfielder. He could do everything.
“But, you have got to recognise also Lampard’s goal-scoring feats - it was unbelievable how many seasons on the trot he would score twenty goals.”
Giggs: Gerrard was better than Lampard
Indeed, Lampard scored at least 20 goals in five straight seasons from 2005 to 2010 and that kind of contribution from midfield is hard to come by.
But in Giggs’ view, Gerrard could do it all.
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