Cesc Fabregas says Steven Gerrard was the toughest opponent he ever faced

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While football fans around the world are constantly arguing whether Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time, fans in England have another argument they’re always trying to settle.

Who was better: Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard?

Despite the three midfielders having all retired from the game, the argument rages on.

Manchester United fans will argue Scholes won the most trophies and could dictate a game with his incredible passing ability.

Liverpool fans will suggest Gerrard was superior as he dragged average Liverpool sides to trophies with his all-round qualities.

While Chelsea fans will think Lampard’s incredible goalscoring ability and multiple Premier League titles means he’s the pick of the bunch.

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Of course, the opinions of fans don’t really matter.

What’s far more important is the opinion of professional footballers. Especially those that have played against the three. Even better if they’re a central midfielder and have come up against the trio directly.

Step forward, Cesc Fabregas.

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Fabregas appeared on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast and had to answer 10 tricky questions about his career.

The best player he’s played with? Lionel Messi.

The best manager he’s played under? Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger or Jose Mourinho.

Craziest teammate? Diego Costa or Gerard Pique.

How about the best player he’s ever faced?

"If I have to say one - and I really enjoyed playing against - I would say Steven Gerrard,” Fabregas said.

"He was physically the most difficult opponent to handle. He was the box-to-box player, he could be on his right or left, shooting from the outside of his boot. He was a machine."

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So Fabregas thinks Gerrard was a tougher opponent than both Lampard and Scholes?

Interesting.

Cesc actually had something of a rivalry with Lampard, clashing with him on several occasions while playing for Arsenal and Barcelona. In fact, it was his arrival at Chelsea in 2014 that ultimately resulted in Lampard's decision to leave the club.

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After leaving, Lampard said: "We never played together! They let me go to get Cesc in. Me and Cesc never really got on well on the pitch so they didn’t think we could share a dressing room."

Incidentally, shortly after Scholes’ retirement back in 2013, David Moyes lined up Fabregas to replace him at Old Trafford but the move never materialised.

Perhaps it was for the best if he thought Gerrard was better!

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