Michael Owen says Steven Gerrard was on a "different level" to Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes.
The three England midfielders were team-mates on the international stage and rivals in the Premier League, and debate has raged over who the best player was for years.
He also lined up in the same England team as Lampard between 1999 and 2008.
But while Owen praised all three as players, he believes Gerrard was a cut above the rest.
"“If you watch Scholesy in training, your tongue is hanging out," he told the Greatest Game with Jamie Carragher Podcast.
“He can give you the eyes, you can think he’s heading it that way and he’ll almost do a reverse spinner off the other side of his head. He can drop a ball on a sixpence. He is just total and utter genius.
“But there’s that and there’s the actual practicalities of playing on a big pitch where you need size, strength, substance, running ability, all these things.
“And if you play one vs one, you against you, Stevie against any of the names that you’ve played, I think he would eat them for dinner.
“Someone like Scholesy obviously had different attributes. I mean, unbelievable the way he changed his game from being a bombing midfielder scoring to a quarter-back. Total genius.
“Frank Lampard, who can question his goalscoring and how he got every ounce out of his ability?
“But to me, Stevie’s on a different level than anything I’ve seen or played with and as you’ve said, I’m not blowing smoke up my arse, I’ve played with some great Man United players, Liverpool players, Real Madrid, England.
“Put it this way. If I’m saying tomorrow rewind the clock, you’re going into battle now, you’re playing in the Champions League final, who’s your first pick? I’d have Steven Gerrard as my first pick out of anyone.”
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