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Gerrard: "He's in the Top Five Players in the World"

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Before returning to Liverpool from international duty, Steven Gerrard talked about the prospect of facing off against Luis Suarez, a teammate who's one of the top five players in the world, at the World Cup.

Michael Regan

Liverpool may be focused on the season's final ten games, but for fans of some clubs around England, eyes have already turned towards Brazil. And with the long break for Liverpool while England played a pre-World Cup tune up against Denmark last Wednesday, Steven Gerrard has been doing a bit of talking this past week that's looking a little further ahead than just Liverpool's next match.

One of the keys talking points for England heading into the summer is what's perceived as a tough group with Italy, Uruguay, and Costa Rica. Costa Rica, of course, are nobody's definition of a tough draw, and while Italy certainly is, those talking up Uruguay's chances clearly haven't taken note of their largely terrible play since the 2011 Copa America. Still, even a largely terrible Uruguay has Luis Suarez.

"I’d rather play on the same team as him, of course I would," said Gerrard when asked about the prospect of facing off against Luis Suarez this summer at the World Cup. "He’s a world-class player who can give problems to any opposition he comes up against. I know him well, I know his strengths and I know the very few weaknesses that he has. But I’m looking forward to competing against him.

"When you play with players domestically they’re your team-mates, you protect them and you do everything you can to win together. We both know that when the whistle goes against Uruguay the friendship goes out of the window for 90 minutes and we both fight for our countries. But I can’t speak highly enough of Luis as a player, he’s up there, for me, in the top five players in the world."

Suarez, alongside Edinson Cavani, will always give Uruguay a chance. Viewed as a team rather than just two stars, though, they aren't the threat they were at the last World Cup, and if England cannot cope with them on their current form then England quite simply aren't a side that deserves to advance past the group stages. Uruguayans, on the other hand, may look at England and see roughly the same thing—minus Luis Suarez.