Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard or Paul Scholes - 11 footballers who answered the debate

Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes were all tremendous players.

The trio tore up the Premier League for Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.

But who was the best of the three? That’s a question which has been debated greatly by football fans.

And a number of the sports biggest stars have given their thoughts on the debate, too.

We’ve decided to round up how footballers have answered the question. Players who were biased in their answer have been excluded.

For example, Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen both chose Gerrard, which is almost definitely down to playing alongside each other for so long at Liverpool.

John Terry obviously said Lampard, while Gary Neville went with Scholes.

We think it’s much more interesting to see how footballers who weren’t biased answer the question. We’ve named 11 players who have done just that below:

Toni Kroos – Paul Scholes

Kroos was asked the question in a Twitter Q&A in 2017. He went with Scholes.

Unfortunately he did not elaborate, but we certainly can see similarities in both Kroos’ and Scholes’ style-of-play.

Kaka – Steven Gerrard

The Brazilian went with Gerrard, who he faced in the 2005 and 2007 Champions League finals between AC Milan and Liverpool.

“I like Gerrard,” he told SPORTbible. “Because we had this challenge between ourselves in 2005 and 2007, I really admire him.

“Of course, Lampard was pretty amazing, Scholes the classic. But I’ll have Gerrard.”

Thierry Henry – Paul Scholes

Henry played against all three of them numerous times during his long stint at Arsenal and he gave his his vote to Scholes. 

“He was just ahead in his head,” he said on Monday Night Football in 2015. “He made Manchester United tick. Every time we were playing them we needed to find a way to stop him.

“It’s true. I think Stevie G comes really close to him. But Paul Scholes would have to win.”

Deco – Paul Scholes

Now this is a real surprise. Deco played alongside Lampard at Chelsea for two seasons. 

But there was no loyalty to his former teammate as he went with Scholes.

“I played with and against so many fantastic players in midfield like Gerrard,” he said in 2016, per BleacherReport. “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.”

Kieron Dyer – Paul Scholes

Dyer, who played in the Premier League for 14 seasons between 1999-2013, went with Scholes.

“The best player I ever played with is Paul Scholes,” Dyer told Soccer AM. “The [debate] has always been who’s better: Scholes, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. In my humble opinion, Scholes was the best.

“People who played with him and against him know that he was so special and unique. He could do everything except the tackle!”

Chris Sutton – Steven Gerrard

Sutton was asked the question by Robbie Savage on BT Sport.

“Tough one there but I’m going to say Gerrard,” he replied. “I think he was a better all-rounder. His range of passing… it’s a tough one but Gerrard.”

Paul Ince – Paul Scholes

Ince is another interesting one as he played with Scholes at Man United and Gerrard at Liverpool. 

But he didn’t hesitate at all when asked the question by Savage on BT Sport.

“Scholesy all day long,” he said almost immediately. “Better passer. He had everything.”

Bryan Robson – Steven Gerrard

Robson, a Man United legend, surprisingly didn’t choose Scholes.

“For me he [Gerrard] can do everything and that’s the reason I’d say he was the best of the three if I had to split them ahead of Scholes and Lampard in that order,” he told the Daily Mail in 2013.

“They are all top professionals and each brought different attributes and strengths but Gerrard can tackle, defend, score goals, head it, make a telling precision pass, dictate the tempo and is a powerful runner. He has a bit more to his game.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Steven Gerrard

Now this is controversial. Loftus-Cheek answered the question in December 2017 but didn’t choose Lampard.

“I think I’m going to say Gerrard, because he could do everything,” he said, per the Metro.

“Obviously Lampard was top at what he did, and what he did was score goals, and no other midfielder can do that like Lamps. But the way Gerrard leads as well, I’d say Gerrard.”

We wonder if his answer has changed now Lampard is his manager…

Wilfried Zaha – Steven Gerrard

Zaha spent a short spell at Man United but that wasn’t enough to convince him to pick Scholes.

“Me personally, I would say Gerrard,” he said, per “That’s my opinion, just the way he plays, controls the game, technique, the way he strikes the ball.

“I remember training with England, and he hit the ball with such power, and no run-up. I’d have to run from the halfway line to smash that as hard as he’s hit that”.

Robbie Savage – Steven Gerrard

Savage came through the youth system alongside Scholes at Man United. But he went with Gerrard.

“I played against Scholes, Keane, Vieira, Makelele, Lampard – some of the best we’ve seen in the Premier League – but for me, Steven Gerrard stood out,” he said in 2016.

“He could pass it 50, 60 yards and you couldn’t get close to him. He could tackle you, take free-kicks, he could whip balls in, he could score goals – as a midfield player, he was a nightmare.

“For me, he goes down as the greatest ever Liverpool player.”


Steven Gerrard – 6 votes

Paul Scholes – 5 votes

Frank Lampard – 0 votes

Out of the 11 unbiased high-profile players that I’ve seen answer the question, Gerrard just comes out on top.

The fact that none of the 11 above answered Lampard, though, is absolutely criminal.

Lampard is arguably Chelsea’s best player of all-time. he scored 177 Premier League goals in his career, which is outrageous for a midfielder.

Deco played alongside him and didn’t even choose him as the best. Loftus-Cheek didn’t even give him his vote despite being at Chelsea since the age of eight.

I’m not saying he’s the best but he’s perhaps a little bit disrespected when it comes to the Gerrard, Scholes and Lampard debate.

But, regardless, there’s certainly an argument for choosing any one of the three and this is a debate that will continue to rage on for many, many years.

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