Steven Gerrard falls short of being a "great", according to his former midfield rival Roy Keane.
In 17 seasons with The Reds and as the Liverpool captain for their Champions League and FA Cup triumphs in 2005 and 2006, Gerrard earned legendary status amongst the Anfield faithful.
However, speaking last week as part of a fundraiser for his former Manchester United teammate Pat McGibbon, Keane expressed his doubts whether Gerrard can be considered amongst the very best.
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“He was a good player,” said Keane, as reported in the Belfast Telegraph.
"He was a really good player. I don’t throw around these lines that everyone was a great player or a legend. That’s all nonsense.
“He was a really good player and I think he would have done well at United. He won Liverpool a lot of big games. Good player Gerrard. You can’t take that away from him.”
Sounds a bit familiar
Keane's former manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also expressed similar doubts about Gerrard at the highest level.
In his second autobiography, Ferguson stated that despite trying to sign him in 2005, Gerrard "was not a top top player" and that the Liverpool captain "seldom had a kick" against Keane and fellow England midfielder Paul Scholes.
During the same evening whilst interviewed by Irish league pundit Liam Beckett, Keane also revealed how he was forced into hiding from Kenny Dalglish in 1993.
Following Nottingham Forest's relegation that season, Keane was amongst the most sought-after players on the market with Blackburn Rovers, then bankrolled by Jack Walker's millions, leading the initial race for his signature.
“I spoke to Blackburn,” he said. “United hadn’t come in for me at that stage. I was 21 or 22 at the time.
“I met Kenny Dalglish, agreed a contract with them and a pay rise. I thought Blackburn were going places with Dalglish.
“They had got Alan Shearer in and I agreed on a deal on a Friday night. On the Friday they said would I come back on the Monday when the offices were open again and I said yes.
“It was the end of the season so I went back to Cork for a few days and on Sunday morning, I woke up and got a phone call from Alex Ferguson asking to go and meet him.
“I met Brian Kidd and Alex Ferguson, played a game of snooker with them and had the usual small talk, they told me how great I was and I believed them.
“I decided I wanted to go to United. In the meantime, Kenny Dalglish phoned up and I said I had agreed to go to United and he was fuming.
“I said to him I was going to Cyprus on holiday with a few mates and when I came back I was going to sign for United and he said I’m going to find you.
“Every bar in Ayia Napa I was looking over my shoulder expecting to see Kenny Dalglish!”
During his 12 seasons at Old Trafford, Keane helped United to seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League trophy in 1999.
Who do you think was a better player: Roy Keane or Steven Gerrard?
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