Manchester United stars Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs are believed to be the favourites for the award, but Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is talking up the claims of captain Steven Gerrard. 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."