Steven Gerrard has singled out Scott Brown as one of the toughest competitors he has ever faced in his career. Gerrard, a Liverpool icon and legend, played more than 700 games for the club, was capped 114 times and won the Champions League under then manager Rafael Benitez.
During the illustrious career, the midfielder’s only regret was his failure to win the Premier League with the Reds. Throughout his time as a player, Gerrard enjoyed some intense midfield battles but one player that gave him a tough time seems to be Celtic skipper Scott Brown, who Gerrard faced when England defeated Scotland 3-2 in 2013.
The former Liverpool skipper praised Brown, singling him out for maintaining his “tough but fair” attitude in the game.
“There’s all different ways to be tough as a footballer,” Gerrard told on BT Sport. (h/t Daily Record)
“I think some of the ones that look tough and bounce around the football pitch acting tough are probably the ones that are not.
“I think where this comes from is Scott Brown. I’ve played against Scott Brown and he’s a tough competitor, a really good player.”
Manager and director of football at Heart of Midlothian, Craig Levein recently criticised Brown for going in too hard on 16-year-old midfielder Harry Cochrane.
But Gerrard defended the Celtic warrior, by saying:
“I think it’s out of order saying he’s not fair, especially the career he’s had. It all comes down to him going tough on a young kid who plays for Hearts.
“But I think that’s the game and too much of it is going out of the game.”
Interestingly, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had compared Brown to Gerrard last year in December due to their striking similarity on their effects over the opponents.
Before taking up the Hoops job in 2016, Rodgers managed Liverpool for three years (2012-2015) and had Gerrard as his skipper.
“Browny always invites that because of the type of player he is,” said Rodgers.
“I seen it over many years, seen it working with Steven Gerrard. Every player that came up against Steven would raise their game 10 to 15 per cent because they are up against a top player and Browny has the same up here.
“Every week, every player who comes up against him knows how good he is so they always see it as a real test. Whether is it the young guy at Hearts or some of the other players, Browny faces that every week.
“That’s why it’s remarkable how well Scott Brown has done here because of the challenge he has had for the last 10-plus years of everyone that he is up against.
“So yes, good players will always invite that and it is great that the young guy has that ambition to want to do well.”
Some praise for Scott Brown from an English icon!