- Premier League
Joe Cole is better than Messi - Gerrard
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has claimed that team-mate Joe Cole is better than Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
Cole and Gerrard are expected to form the creative hub of the Liverpool midfield this season - starting on Sunday against Arsenal - and the Reds skipper admits he has been "shocked" by the Anfield new boy's ability.
Speaking to Match of the Day magazine, Gerrard said: "Messi can do some amazing things, but anything he can do Joe can do as well, if not better. He used to shock us in training by doing footy tricks with a golf ball that most players can't even do with a football.
"I really fancy Joe for the [player of the year] award this season."
Gerrard has admitted that he has been enthused by Roy Hodgson's vision for the future of Liverpool. The 30-year-old was frequently linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, but he has pledged his future to the club in the light of talks with the former Fulham chief.
"It's a great club and after speaking with Roy Hodgson I'm really pleased to see his plans for the club," he said. "It's a new era now - we must forget about the horror of what happened last season and get this club back to where it belongs, which is the Champions League at the very least."