Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has shrugged off Sir Alex Ferguson’s verdict that he was not a "top, top player" and reminded the former Manchester United manager that he tried to sign him.
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The 33-year-old came in for criticism in the Scot’s recent autobiography, along with a host of current and former Liverpool players and managers, including Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson.
But Gerrard, who has scored 161 goals in 643 games for Liverpool and captained their Champions League-winning team in 2005, said he is more concerned about the views of his managers for club and country, Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson, than Ferguson’s comments.
He told the Daily Mail: “Listen, he’s entitled to his opinion. I’m a fan of his; he is one of the best managers in the world.
"I won’t lose any sleep over it. Throughout my career I have had praise from all types of people -- including him -- and I am not vain enough to take it all.
"I have had some unbelievable praise from him and he tried to buy me, certainly on one occasion. Maybe even two.
"For me, the most important thing is what [Liverpool manager] Brendan Rodgers and [England manager] Roy Hodgson are thinking. I think they are really pleased with me and that is all I will worry about."
Gerrard will draw level with England’s World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore on 108 caps if he leads his country either in Friday’s friendly against Chile or Tuesday’s match against Germany.
Only goalkeeper Peter Shilton, capped 125 times by England, David Beckham, who made 115 appearances, and Moore have played more for the national team.
And referencing Ferguson’s quote, he said: "107 caps isn’t bad for someone who isn’t "a top, top player", is it? I never expected to get that amount of caps.
"When I made my debut, I set myself the personal target of trying to get 50 caps and score 10 goals if I could, so to have 107 is something I am really proud of, particularly being among those names.
"I’m not looking at Shilton or Beckham. Passing Bobby Moore would be the next one. To go past him, after everything he did, would be unbelievable.”