CHELSEA legend Frank Lampard revealed that Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard was the toughest midfield opponent he faced as he named his top five picks.
The 42-year-old former England international spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge and won three Premier League titles and a
Champions League with the Blues.
And Lampard crossed paths with a plethora of world-class talent that included the likes of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes.
The former Chelsea midfielder admitted that former Manchester City star Yaya Toure ranked up there as one of the toughest he
However, Lampard insisted that former England teammate Gerrard “edges” past his other picks mainly for “his consistency over the
The former West Ham star told BBC Sport: “I would put Yaya Toure in the top five of the toughest midfield opponents I faced in my
career, and at his peak, he could change games on his own.
“Steven Gerrard probably edges it as the best I have played against, for his consistency over the years, but Yaya is up there along
with Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Paul Scholes — which shows how highly I rate him.
“Every midfielder has different attributes but the best players are the ones you fear, and I certainly did that when I was up against
“Even some of the very best play within themselves slightly, but he didn’t. He would hurt you by going forward and by scoring goals
at the end of it, which is always a great trait that not many midfield players have.”
Lampard, who would play for Man City and New York City before retiring, went on to share his personal experience of facing Toure
on the pitch.
Chelsea’s all-time record scorer praised Toure’s skills on the ball and said he “could pass it around me if he wanted to.”
Lampard explained: “When I faced him, I knew he was very good on the ball and could pass it around me if he wanted to. He knew
the moments to keep it simple and move the ball around.
“But if you got too close to him to try to stop him doing that, he also had that ability to drive through midfield and his physical power
and pace — which was deceptive because of his big stride — made it so difficult to stay with him.
“Either by making a one-two or just by facing me up and running straight past me, he would be gone.”
Toure, 37, was named African Footballer of the Year a whopping four times during his glittering eight years at City.
The Ivorian star won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups with City before signing for Olympiacos in 2018.