Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher silences Steven Gerrard haters with Lionel Messi picture
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Jamie Carragher has evidenced his claim that Steven Gerrard is among the world's elite midfielders with a photo of the Liverpool icon holding an award next to Lionel Messi.
Carragher was involved in a debate on CBS Sports after Manchester City's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu.
Kevin De Bruyne was on hand to equalise for City with a long-range drive into the bottom corner, scoring his second goal of this season's competition.
The discussion centred around whether De Bruyne would only be considered among football's greatest midfielders if he guided City to a Champions League title - much like Gerrard did with Liverpool in 2005.
He explained: "That's what the greatest players do. They have those moments that we all remember.
"Thierry [Henry, studio pundit for the game] is right, if he [De Bruyne] could be the man who takes them to the Champions League, the treble, it elevates him.
"We're not questioning his ability, but in terms of how we rank players, we only judge them in the biggest moments and the biggest tournaments."
Carragher on Gerrard
After stating that he had not seen 'many better' midfielders De Bruyne in football, Carragher then turned his focus to Gerrard's accomplishments - and evidenced his claims with a historic photo.
He said: "Stevie's got that Istanbul moment  - that's what I'm talking about.
"I couldn't say Steven Gerrard was a lot better than Kevin De Bruyne. There's not a lot in it - it would split a debate.
"But what Steven's got is that Istanbul moment. It's one game, but it's just that moment that you can't ever take out of your mind when you think of Steven Gerrard.
"We still haven't got that one moment for Kevin De Bruyne at the absolute highest level. We've got hundreds of moments of Kevin De Bruyne showing he is the best midfield player in the Premier League in the last five years, one of the best midfielders in world football."
Then came the photo, which showed Gerrard stood next to none other than legendary Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
May 10, 2023
The photo was taken at a FIFA ceremony in 2009, when all four players were named in that year's FIFPRO World XI.
In 2017, they were named in the UEFA 'Team of the Century'.
Alongside Messi, Iniesta and Xavi, four other La Liga stars made the cut. Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were all named in the XI.
Bayern Munich full-back Philipp Lahm also got the nod, along with Gerrard and fellow ex-Premier League stars Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Gerrard, therefore, was the only England and Liverpool player in the XI - even though he never lifted the Ballon d'Or trophy.
De Bruyne will likely not do so either in 2023, even if he wins the Champions League, due to the time considered for the award encompassing Messi's historic World Cup win - but he could easily finish in the top three.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Liverpool, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi, Champions League, Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City