Deco Says Paul Scholes Was Better Than Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard

Joe Gallagher@joesgallagherFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2016

Chelsea's Portuguese midfielder Deco (L) vies with Manchester United's English midfielder Paul Scholes (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on April 3, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES.  FOR  EDITORIAL USE Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

It's one of the great debates of the Premier League era.

The question as to which of a golden generation of English midfielders including Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard is the best has been answered by retired Portuguese star Deco.

The 38-year-old, who played alongside Lampard at Chelsea between 2008 and 2010, overlooked his former team-mate to name Manchester United's Scholes as the best English midfielder he ever played with or against, reports Squawka.

HULL, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 29:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Deco (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Chelsea at The KC Stadium on October 29, 2008 in Hull, England.  (Photo
Phil Cole/Getty Images

"I played with and against so many fantastic players in midfield like Gerrard," he said. "I had the opportunity to play with Lampard together at Chelsea.

"I think, because he was a different type of player to all other types of English midfielder, Paul Scholes was the best player that I saw playing for an English midfield and one of the best players in the world."

41-year-old Scholes retired after 21 years with the Red Devils in 2013, after scoring 155 goals in 718 appearances. He also made 66 appearances for England, scoring 14 times.

Gerrard left his boyhood club Liverpool last summer to join LA Galaxy, while Lampard is also plying his trade in Major League Soccer with New York City FC.

LISBON, Portugal:  Portugal's midfielder Deco (R) fights for the ball with England midfielder Steven Gerrard, 24 June 2004 during their European Nations Championship quarter-final football match between Portugal and England at the Estadio Da Luz in Lisbon
JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

Deco, who also played for Porto, Benfica and Barcelona before ending his career with Fluminense, identified Real Madrid's Luka Modric, and Barca legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi as midfielders in the mould of Scholes:

There are not so many players with this style because I think most of the players are box-to-box, not about controlling the game, keeping the balance of the team.

Maybe it’s the generation, but I think this kind of player always exists. England has a lot of fantastic players. What I say is that in midfield, with his style, Scholes could play at any club.

[Squawka]