Steven Gerrard singles out Real Madrid star as ‘one of the best players in the world’

Steven Gerrard singles out Real Madrid star as ‘one of the best players in the world’

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is “one of the best players in the world by a mile,” according to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

The ex-Reds captain watched on as Madrid thumped his former side 5-2 at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, and was in awe of the visiting striker.

Real Madrid striker ‘one of the best’ in the world

Benzema bagged a brace for the visiting side in their resounding victory, with fellow attacker Vinicius Jr also netting a double, as defender Eder Militao also got on the scoresheet.

And it wasn’t just the French forward that impressed the Liverpool legend, with Real Madrid midfield star Luka Modric also catching his eye.

The 37-year-old produced yet another magical European display for the Spanish giants, helping control the midfield to allow the likes of Benzema and Vinicius Jr the freedom to roam in the final third.

“Benzema is one of the best players I have ever seen at drawing players out,” said Gerrard, as reported by BBC Sport. “He’s one of the best players in the world by a mile.

“We are talking about true greatness here. Modric and Benzema perform on a completely different level from most players.”

Lallana ‘in awe’ of Spanish side

Gerrard wasn’t the only former Liverpool player to be taken aback by Real Madrid and their star players, with Adam Lallana also expressing his delight at watching “the favourites” to lift this season’s Champions League trophy.

Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in last season’s final in Paris, with Vinicius Jr scoring the only goal of the game. But the Reds also lost to the Spanish club in the 2018 final, with Lallana playing in that 3-1 loss in Kyiv.

Now at Brighton, Lallana believes Real Madrid are still evolving, with midfield maestro Modric standing out in particular.

“I was in awe watching Real Madrid,” said Lallana. “This team is evolving. It felt like I was watching the favourites of the competition.

Speaking of Modric, Lallana noted: “To play like that at 37 is incredible.”

Real Madrid

Real Madrid to ease past Reds once more?

The familiar foes are having very different seasons indeed, with Liverpool sitting eighth in the Premier League and Real Madrid sitting second in La Liga.

The Spanish side are eight points behind leaders Barcelona, but will meet their rivals in cup action in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg early next month.

Real Madrid also have a derby against Atletico Madrid before they next take on Liverpool, as well as league matches against Real Betis and Espanyol.

Jurgen Klopp’s men meanwhile will want to put the Champions League humiliation behind them in their four league matches between now and the second leg.

The Merseyside outfit have Premier League matches against Crystal Palace, Wolves, Manchester United and Bournemouth before journeying to the Spanish capital.

While many supporting the Reds believe that the tie is not yet over, Liverpool have been left with a huge mountain to climb when they travel to Spain next month.

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