Ex-Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has described his former teammate Steven Gerrard as easily the best player he has played with over the course of his career and that he cannot wait to link up with him again on Sunday.
Gerrard is holding a charity match at Anfield, which has been organised to raise funds for the Liverpool Foundation and will be a send-off for the club legend, who is set to leave this summer for MLS and LA Galaxy.
“I have said many times that Stevie is the best player that I have played with - by far,” he told the official Liverpool website ahead of the match.
“He was a big influence for me as a player; I had one career before I started playing with him and one career after I played with him. He changed my game and changed my motivation and ambition.
"I can't wait to play with Stevie again. I just wanted to have the chance to play with him, even if it is just one last time. No-one knows if it is going to be the last time, but be sure that I am going to enjoy it.”
Torres had his best years at Liverpool and has failed to rediscover the devastating displays he produced when assisted by Gerrard. The Spaniard, now back at boyhood club Atletico Madrid, soured his relationship with fans by making a record £50million switch to Chelsea in 2011 and has struggled for form since.
He will be joined in Gerrard’s team for the match by former Reds Xabi Alonso and Luis Suarez, as well as Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. The crowd’s reaction to Torres would likely be quite hostile at any other time, but the occasion may mean for a little more leniency towards him.
'El Nino' Claim Is A 'No-No'
Torres is right that Gerrard was the best player for his game, but saying he is the best he’s ever played with is quite a claim – and surely one that is wide of the mark. Perhaps the way Gerrard’s passing enhanced the striker’s potency is playing with him emotions.
However, to say the Liverpool captain is the best when he has lined up alongside the likes of Didier Drogba, Andres Iniest, Xavi and Xabi Alonso will baffle some. Gerrard is certainly one of the Liverpool greats, but his talent falls short of being described as level to some of those names, never mind better.
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