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Rafa tips Gerrard for award

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1 Rafa tips Gerrard for award on Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:03 am

Rafa Benitez believes that Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard should be crowned this season's PFA Player of the Year.

If current form was the decisive criteria when judging the candidates then the 28-year-old would win hands down.

The England international is expected to face stiff competition from Manchester United duo Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs with both playing a significant part in trying to help the club land an unprecedented five trophies.

Gerrard has been pivotal in the Reds' sparkling form of late, scoring six goals in his last three games, lifting his side to within a point of United at the top of the Premier League and safely through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

"He would be my vote. If he can continue playing at this level, then why not?" Anfield boss Benitez said.

"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.

"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."

Improved

With 21 goals already to his name this season, Gerrard is well on the way to beating his personal best tally of 23 goals in the 2005/06 season.

The midfielder's achievements in front of goal mean that he has beaten the 20-goal barrier in three of his last four seasons and the Spaniard puts it down to his new role playing just off Fernando Torres.

"Changing his position and seeing him play in a different role has improved a lot," he added.

"He scored 23 goals one year and now he has 21 and can score more before the end of the 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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