Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard? Who was better?
That is the eternal question for England fans.
There’s an argument for all three, in truth.
Paul Scholes won the most Premier League titles and is one of the best passers football has ever seen.
Steven Gerrard may not have won quite as many trophies but he carried an underwhelming Liverpool side for many, many years.
Frank Lampard scored the most goals and doesn’t have a bad trophy collection, either.
It’s just a shame they never formed an incredible partnership in midfield for England.
Back at Euro 2004, manager Sven-Goran Eriksson believed 4-4-2 would be the best option for the Three Lions meaning Scholes had to be shifted out onto the left.
In the opening match against France, it was working as a Lampard goal had given England to lead. However, two late goals from Zinedine Zidane – one from a free-kick and one from the penalty spot – saw France take the opening group match.
While Zidane stole the headlines that match, the performance of Patrick Vieira went very much under the radar.
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Up against three of the best midfielders in English history, Vieira was his usually dominant self and video highlights have emerged showing that he “bullied, dominated and pocketed” the trio.
Both Scholes and Lampard were booked for fouls on Vieira, while Scholes had to go off injured.
It was a typical Rolls Royce performance from the Arsenal legend.
Patrick Vieira highlights vs England
Somehow, with Vieira, Zidane and Henry in their squad, France didn’t go on to win Euro 2004. They lost the eventual winners Greece in the quarter-finals thanks to Angelos Charisteas – who would go on a score the only goal in the final.
But the next time someone asks the question: Scholes, Gerrard or Lampard?
Just remember the answer – particularly on that night in Euro 2004 – was Vieira.