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Liverpool skipper Gerrard runs down his top 5 toughest opponents

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard rates former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele as his toughest opponent.

He said: "I have often come up against Claude Makelele. He's always marked me closely and always done a decent job.

"He may be small, but he's strong and quick and a really difficult player to play against. He would be my number one choice."

Roy Keane fills the runner-up spot with Gerrard declaring: "I played against him early in my career and he was the best around at that time.

"He was fitter and stronger than me at that time and the impact he had on Manchester United was a real eye-opener."

Of ex-Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira - in third place - he says: "I'll never forget the FA Cup final of 2001 when he was on a different level to everyone else.

"He was outstanding and went into overdrive that day and that's why it was such a surprise we ended up winning, because Arsenal deserved it on the day."

Manchester United's Paul Scholes is his fourth choice and Gerrard says: "He's very clever with his movement and can play around you. You have to be right on top of your game to play against him."

Gerrard names his own team-mate Xabi Alonso in fifth place saying: "I play with him or against him every day in training and know how good he is. If Xabi is on his game and on form then he is unplayable."

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