Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lucas rates Gerrard over Kaka

Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva rates Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard higher than his compatriot Kaka.

Lucas, who has been capped four times by his country, has been a mainstay in the centre of Rafa Benitez's midfield at Anfield this season, with Gerrard operating in an advanced role ahead of him.

Real Madrid forward Kaka, meanwhile, is beginning to find the kind of form which prompted the Bernabeu club to pay £59million for his services from AC Milan last summer.

Reds captain Gerrard, who has also played down the entire right flank in his Liverpool career, has struggled to live up to his expected level this season but having played with both players, Lucas is in no doubt who is the more complete player.

"There are similarities with Kaka and Stevie but Stevie makes more of a contribution all over the pitch," said the 23-year-old when comparing Gerrard to his compatriot.

"Stevie is more complete in that sense because he can attack but also defend just as well. This is probably because Stevie has experience playing in a number of positions earlier in his career."

Lucas added in LFC Weekly: "Even now, he is so good, he could probably play anywhere."

Lucas has become used to criticism from sections of the Anfield faithful since his 2007 move from Gremio, but he remains one of just three Liverpool players to be used in every Premier League game this season.

With the others being Dirk Kuyt and Pepe Reina, that testament suggests he is doing something right in the eyes of boss Benitez, but Lucas admits personal achievements come behind the team's.

"Since I have been at Liverpool there have been quite a few knocks," he said of the criticism.

"This season I have played more games and that has pleased me. But it isn't about me, it's about the club doing well.

"Winning the league isn't possible so we need to finish in the top four. That is more important than any personal statistics or achievements I have made.

"This year has been really difficult for the team but we have improved a lot in the last 10 games, especially defensively.

"It is clear we have not scored enough but we have become difficult to beat again.

"Over the next month we have quite a lot of home games against teams from the bottom half of the league, while our rivals for fourth have more difficult fixtures on paper.

"Maybe this will help us out."

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