Benitez backs Gerrard for England

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has backed Reds captain Steven Gerrard to take over the captain’s armband from David Beckham for England.

The Real Madrid midfielder stood down as England captain after this year’s World Cup exit to Portugal in the quarter-finals. Chelsea‘s John Terry along with Gerrard has been tipped to succeed the position.

And Rafa believes England captaincy could improve Gerrard as a player. He said, “I was talking to Steve McClaren and I asked him jokingly about the new captain. He smiled and he did not say anything.

“For sure, it would be really good for Steve. He’s more mature now and he could do both jobs, captaining Liverpool and captaining England.

“Maybe it would help him in terms of really, really focusing on football and show him how important it is to be captain.

“As captain he is an example to the rest of the players on and off the pitch, but his main quality is the quality of his passing on the pitch.

“I think he’s learning things and he’s thinking more about the game. As a manager, you always want to see your players improve and I think Steve has the potential to improve more.”

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