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Capello - Gerrard is best

England boss echoes the sentiments of Zidane

Last Updated: 28/03/09 9:03am

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Gerrard: Highly rated by Capello

Gerrard: Highly rated by Capello

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England manager Fabio Capello believes Steven Gerrard is at the 'very top of his game'.

"The supporters need to back us both when we are playing well and when we are not playing so well."
Fabio Capello Quotes of the week

The Liverpool captain has hit stunning form over the past month and has been a major factor in his club's renewed challenge for the Premier League title and continued presence in the UEFA Champions League.

Gerrard, who has been playing as a second striker for the Reds, was recently described by French legend Zinedine Zidane as one of the best players in the world, and that sentiment has been echoed by Capello.

The England boss is expected to play Gerrard in a roaming role on the left of midfield in Saturday's friendly with Slovakia, and he is in no doubt about the 28-year-old's ability to perform at the highest level.

"Zidane said Gerrard was one of the best in the world and I agree with him," said the Italian.

Fantastic

"It is a fantastic time for him. He is at the very top of his game."

Capello used Gerrard as a support forward in a meeting with France in 2008, and the England boss is not surprised to see the man from Merseyside thriving in the position.

He added: "Against France last year I put Steven Gerrard into the team as a second striker and everyone said, 'why?'.

"Now Steven Gerrard is doing well for Liverpool as a second striker and people ask me, 'why am I not playing him there?' Thank you for supporting me at that time.

"Also, the last time he played - in Belarus last October - he scored one, nearly got another and played very well. So I don't know why we are speaking about Gerrard's position in the team."

Cole criticism

Meanwhile, Capello has urged what is going to be a near capacity crowd at Wembley to support Ashley Cole after a wave of criticism.

"We need the support of the fans," said Capello.

"They booed Ashley Cole at the last game - but he is an England player not an opponent.

"The supporters need to back us both when we are playing well and when we are not playing so well."

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