Cabaye went head-to-head with Steven Gerrard when France drew 1-1 with England at Euro 2012 in June.
Cabaye recalled: "The France manager, Laurent Blanc, told us that Gerrard was the best player and we had to look after him.
"But he set up the goal for Joleon Lescott with a typical Gerrard delivery. He is the sort of quality player you can't take your eye off for a second.
"Gerrard is a formidable player. I don't want to disrespect the other players but, for me, he is the key player.
"He's still excellent - his passing is very good. He can win the game for his team with his delivery or his finishing."