Former England and Chelsea star Frank Lampard has named Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard as one of the toughest players he has faced during his lengthy and successful career in the Premier League.
It may come as no surprise to many that Gerrard was the former Chelsea man's toughest opponent, with the two facing each other countless times in the league and various cup competitions.
When asked by COPA90 on his toughest opponent Lampard said, "Steven Gerrard… it’s a tough one, I played against so many great players."
The all-time Chelsea leading goalscorer then added former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane and Arsenal powerhouse Patrick Viera to the list, stating that the two were unplayable in their prime.
"I remember Roy Keane and Patrick Viera, they were untouchable and they would sort of bully me on the pitch, in a good way. I felt in awe of them on the pitch.
"Roy Keane would just say “get off” and keep you over there while he played his own game."
After the era of Keane and Viera ended, Lampard stated that Paul Scholes and Yaya Toure stepped up and became difficult opponents, but reiterated that Gerrard was the toughest overall.
"When that era finished, Gerrard, Scholesy, Yaya Toure came through… But I’ll say Gerrard [as his toughest opponent] for the consistency over the years, when he was on it he had everything."
Lampard and Gerrard both peaked at the same time, and are household names all around the world. When both names are mentioned many think back to a time when the English national side boasted the two best midfielders in the world back in 2006.
The hopes of a nation rested on the two clicking and showing the form they produced for their respected clubs, but nothing came of the situation as the duo failed to connect.
Still can't believe no England Manager could figure out how to use the blessing that was Frank Lampard AND Steven Gerrard.— Timothy Brooks (@pastortimbrooks) November 24, 2016
The comments from the former Chelsea man are interesting in the sense that his toughest opponents were all midfielders, showing the importance of controlling the midfield and by doing so half the battle is won.
Neville: "(N’Golo) Kante was doing his job brilliantly, Bakayoko was running off him, Hazard and Fabregas were dropping in and controlling the match. United were just well short in that area. If you dominate midfield in the big games, you’re in business and Chelsea did.” #CFC— Bridge News 📰 (@cfc_wale) November 8, 2017
An example of this was seen recently as Lampard's former employers Chelsea defeat Manchester United with the Blues controlling the game from midfield.