Liverpool legend and former Real Madrid star Michael Owen gave now Rangers boss and “freak of nature” Steven Gerrard an honorary mention as he praised the legendary Zinedine Zidane.
The Ibrox gaffer broke through at Anfield at the same time as Owen as the two burst onto the scene in English football leaving a lasting impression on the nation’s game.
Owen’s career might not have been as illustrious as Gerrard’s in the end but the pacey striker – who won the Ballon d’Or in 2001 – would leave Anfield for pastures new unlike his teammate.
In 2004, Michael Owen signed for Real Madrid in an £8m deal which saw Antonio Nunez move the other way as part of the Galacticos era at the Bernabeu, spending a season in Spain.
In a star-studded team which included the likes of Zidane, the original Ronaldo, Luis Figo, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Raul and Fernando Hierro, Owen joined the ranks of one of the most famous and expensively assembled squads in history.
Looking ahead to Real Madrid’s Champions League tie with Liverpool in Madrid – which the Spanish giants would win 3-1 – Owen lavished now Real boss Zidane with praise.
The legendary French midfielder joined Madrid in a record-breaking £47m deal back in 2001, a world record fee which stood for eight years until Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m in 2009.
Owen talked up the legendary midfielder’s “aura” but couldn’t talk up the attributes of Zidane without also plugging ex-teammate and Liverpool legend Gerrard.
"Unbelievable. I mean the best!" 🤩
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 6, 2021
“Unbelievable, I mean the best (I’ve played with),” said Owen [BT Sport].
“I couldn’t mention the best player I’ve played with without saying Steven Gerrard because he was just a freak of nature as well, but Zidane.
“I never had him down as a manager but on the pitch, he was so strong, so quick, he’d do a Cruyff turn, and all of a sudden he’d do the turn and he’d be like five yards away.
“Explosive power, strength, couldn’t get near the ball, two-footed, he could do anything with either foot, he was just brilliant.
“He just had an aura about him. You just knew he was brilliant by the way he looked at people and walked around.”
It’s not a bad compliment from Owen and certainly not bad company to keep for the Rangers manager and shows what an immense footballing talent we have at the club in Gerrard.
Similarly to Zidane, that greatness is now stepping into management with Gerrard finding his feet at Ibrox and Zizou already a multiple time Champions League winning coach with Real Madrid.
Gerrard might be some way off replicating that just yet but there are high hopes for the England legend in both Glasgow and Liverpool.
However, a leading Ibrox coach has also suggested that his team will be going nowhere any time soon as Gerrard and co commit to Ibrox for the long-term.