Millions have debated long and hard who is the superior footballer: Stevie G or Frank Lampard. Never have I seen two iconic footballers so comparable in terms of nationality, duration, position, influence and passion.
Hell, they even wear the same number 8 jersey for their respective clubs.
Now, the only fair way to settle this is through three criteria. Stats, opinions, and an good old Google fight.
In the red corner, standing at six foot tall, the captain of the Liverpool Football Club, Steven Gerrard.
• Age: 31
• Postion: Attacking Mid
• Debut: 1998 (18 years old)
• England caps: 89, England goals: 19
• Liverpool appearances: 570, goals: 145
• Trophies: Champions League 2005, FA Cup 2001-02, 2005-06, League Cup 2000-01, 2002-03, Community Shield 2001, 2006, UEFA Cup 2000-01, UEFA Super Cup 2001, 2005
• FWA Footballer of the Year: 2009
• PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2006
• PFA Young Player of the Year: 2001
• PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2001, 2009
• PFA Team of the Year: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
• FA Premier League Player of the Month: March 2001, March 2003, December 2004, April 2006, March 2009
• Liverpool top goalscorer: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09
• UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2005
• UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match: 2005
• UEFA Team of the Year: 2005, 2006, 2007
• FIFA/FIFPro World XI: 2007, 2008, 2009
• FA Cup Final Man of the Match: 2006
• Goal of the Season: 2006
• England Player of the Year: 2007
• Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): 2007
Now in the blue corner, playing for Chelsea FC, and formerly of West Ham: Frank Lampard.
• Age: 33
• Postion: Attacking Mid
• Debut: 1995 (18 years old)
• England Caps: 90, goals: 23
• West Ham appearances: 148, goals: 24
• Chelsea appearances: 363, goals: 124
• Trophies: UEFA Cup 1999 , Premier League 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, FA Cup 2007, 2009, 2010, League Cup 2005, 2007, Community Shield 2005, 2009, World Football Challenge 2009, Barclays Asia Trophy 2003, 2011
• 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year – Silver Award
• 2005 Ballon d’Or – Silver Award
• FWA Footballer of the Year: 2005
• UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 2008
• World XI: 2005
• PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2005
• Premier League Player of the Decade, (2000–2009), according to official statistics
• England Player of the Year: 2004, 2005
• UEFA Euro 2004 Team of the Tournament
• Premier League Player of the Month: September 2003, April 2005, October 2005, October 2008
• Premier League Player of the Season: 2004-05, 2005–06
• Chelsea Player of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2009
• PFA Premier League Team of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2006
• 2004–05 Barclays Merit Award (for 164 consecutive appearances)
• Premier League leader in assists: 2004–05 (16), 2009–10 (17)
• FA Cup best player: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10
• FA Cup Final Man of the Match: 2007
• Carling Cup best player: 2004–05, 2006–07
• Midfielder with the most goals in Premier League history (145)
• Chelsea F.C. top goalscorer: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08
• 2011 Barclays Asia Trophy player of tournament
Lampard has the edge over Gerrard in the trophy department with his three Premier League Titles, yet Gerrard has the UEFA Champions League trophy in his cabinet, which is the most difficult trophy to obtain.
They each have a stack of League and FA Cups and numerous other awards, although shamefully neither was able to help a stacked 2000s England team to any major silverware.
They’ve both had brief stints as captain and they have almost the same number of international caps and goals.
Lampard was voted second best player in the world in 2005; he is also the highest-scoring midfielder in EPL history, an amazing record considering the amount of talent that has graced the fields over the years.
Ashley Cole, a Chelsea and England player, included Gerrard into his all-time first XI over his club teammate Lampard. Gerrard has also been voted as the second most influential Liverpool player of all time behind his coach King Kenny.
All in all they are both immensely gifted footballers and contemporaries. It makes me wonder what would have happened if Gerrard had signed alongside Lampard for Chelsea in 2005.
My personal feelings tell me that Gerrard is the more talented footballer, but Lampard has squeezed every bit of potential out of himself to have such a career. In about 10 years time when both players are retired and possibly coaching, we will really start to appreciate how good these two legends were at the game.
I will say this however. If Lampard goes to the MLS or retires without having won the Big Ears, he still would in my book rank a tad higher than Gerrard.
On the other hand, if Gerrard plays out his career without major injury and picks up a few more trophies, specifically the Premier League, then I would have no hesitation in putting him above Lampard.
Oh, by the way, Google Fight says that Gerrard would beat Lampard any day of the week, with 2,910,000 results against 1,610,000. Now I’ll leave you, the reader, to make your choice.