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Benitez backs Gerrard for PFA gong

26 Mar 2009 12:00:00

Benitez backs Gerrard for PFA gong

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez believes his skipper Steven Gerrard should be named PFA Player of the Year as he is "improving" all the time.Manchester United stars Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs are believed to be the favourites for the award, but Benitez is talking up the claims of Gerrard. The midfielder is in the form of his life and has scored 21 goals this season to play a major part in the revival of Liverpool's title ambitions.Benitez said: "He would be my vote. If he can continue playing at this level, then why not?"For me Stevie is one of the best players in the world. To say one is the best above anyone else is difficult because there are a lot of quality players about, but he is one of the best. That is clear."He is more mature, he is still learning and tactically he is improving. He can still play better because he has the potential."Gerrard is currently with the England squad for the forthcoming games with Slovakia and Ukraine, and Benitez added: "He has quality and always tries to improve in every training session."That is very positive. You know when he is on the pitch you have more options to win."Gerrard has claimed this week he would like to play for England in the 'second striker' role he has at Liverpool. And Benitez believes his new role playing just behind Fernando Torres has seen Gerrard's game rise to even greater heights. The Spaniard continued: "Changing his position and seeing him play in a different role has improved a lot."He scored 23 goals one year and now he has 21 and can score more before the end of this season, so that is very positive for the team and also for him."When Gerrard and Torres are together for us, the rest of the team has more confidence. It is good for the rest of the players as they get a lot of confidence when we have those two together on the pitch."


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