Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez praises 'complete player' Gerrard

The Spaniard has been praising the Liverpool captain ahead of his final game at Anfield this weekend.

Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has labelled Steven Gerrard 'the complete player' to the Liverpool Echo.

Gerrard is of course heading to America to join LA Galaxy in the summer, having agreed a deal back in January.

Since then it has been a long goodbye for the captain as he brings his lifetime association with the club to an end, with this weekend’s game his last at Anfield.

And now, Benitez has been full of praise for his former captain, who was a key player in the Spaniard’s Champions League success 10 years ago.

“He’s a very complete player,” he said.

“That’s why he’s been able to play in a number of different positions. With Steven you get commitment, passion, a leader and a player with power, talent and excellent technique when it comes to passing, heading and shooting.”

Despite the trophy haul and memories, the one regret Gerrard will likely have from his time is his failure to win the Premier League.

They did of course come very close last season before his untimely slip against Chelsea, and were beaten by Manchester United when Benitez was in charge during the 2008/09 season.

In fact, Gerrard nearly joined Chelsea after the 2005 Champions League success, and Benitez has admitted it was a hard decision not to join Jose Mourinho, but ultimately he would never had been as important as he is to Liverpool.

“He had a massive offer from Chelsea,” he added.

“It wasn’t easy for Steven. In our team he was Gerrard – our captain, a legend. Outside of Liverpool FC he could be great and maybe win the Premier League, but he never would be as important as he was for our fans.”

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