Pele: Gerrard's the best

Pele feels Steven Gerrard has been the world's best player over the past five years.

Brazilian legend Pele feels Steven Gerrard has been the world's best player over the past five years.

Gerrard has proved to be the heartbeat of the Liverpool side in recent seasons and has played an instrumental role in the club's success.

He was a pivotal figure in last year's UEFA Champions League triumph and produced a two-goal salvo in the FA Cup final against West Ham United in May.

His exploits have also seen Gerrard finish third in the 2005 European Footballer of the Year poll and pick up the PFA Player of the Year accolade.

The Reds skipper is also expected to have a decisive say in how England fare at the upcoming World Cup in Germany.

The powerhouse midfielder will head into the tournament with Pele's praise ringing in his ears, following a glowing tribute from the three-time World Cup winner.

Pele believes that Gerrard does not receive the recognition he deserves because he is a midfielder, rather than a forward.

"The fans, they look only for forwards, always a forward," Pele told Sky Sports News. "Somebody who scores.

"Sometimes you have a player like Gerrard.

"For me, for the last five years Gerrard has been the best player in the world.

"He is a midfielder, he plays very good. People didn't mention Gerrard, now they mention Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi because they are forwards."

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