Everton's Leon Osman believes Liverpool's Steven Gerrard is 'a leader of men'
Everton's Leon Osman is not surprised Liverpool's Steven Gerrard is on the brink of winning his 100th England cap.
Last Updated: 15/11/12 8:51am
Providing a precautionary scan on the bang on the knee he sustained during Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea comes back clear as expected, Gerrard will become the sixth Englishman to reach a century of caps in Wednesday's friendly against Sweden.
It will allow the 32-year-old to join Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright in the pantheon of great players.
Such recognition seems far removed from junior football days, where Osman first came across Gerrard almost two decades ago but, even then, he was a bit special.
"It is fantastic to get to 100 caps," said Everton midfielder Osman. "There is only a select band that has managed to do it and Steven deserves to be in that crew.
"He is a fantastic player and a leader of men. We first played against each other on Merseyside when we were 12 or 13.
"To see him now get to his 100th cap is fantastic but not surprising."
Until they met up in Manchester earlier on Monday, Osman's assessment of Gerrard's qualities has come exclusively from being on the opposing team.
Daniel Sturridge has benefited from being in the same England camps as Gerrard and has profited personally from his vast experience.
"Steven has been fantastic with me when he has been involved in the squads," said the Chelsea forward.
"If you ask any midfielder he has played against, they will say he is a great player. Some of the best players who have ever been have said it.
"Hopefully he will be running out on the field and picking up his 100th on Wednesday."