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Michael Owen picks between Steven Gerrard and Jude Bellingham - 'it's not a tough choice'

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen said picking between Steven Gerrard and Jude Bellingham for England was "not a tough choice" despite the world class quality of both players.

Bellingham shined for Real Madrid during his debut season for the Spanish giants and was quickly billed to lead England to Euro 2024 glory this summer. Although the youngster is yet to reach his highest levels at the tournament, his two goals have proved vital to the Three Lions' progression to the semi-finals.

That includes the sublime overhead kick against Slovakia in the last 16, to save England's tournament by taking the tie to extra time where Harry Kane completed the comeback. He had already scored the winner in the 1-0 victory over Serbia during England's first game of the tournament.

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When compared to Liverpool great Gerrard, however, Bellingham falls just short in Owen's eyes. The former Reds striker believes people have forgotten how "incredible" Gerrard was and admits it was a no brainer when deciding between the Anfield great and the former Borussia Dortmund man.

"I would pick Gerrard over Bellingham if I could only pick one, it's not a tough choice," Owen told entertainment website CSGOLuck: "People forget Gerrard was incredible, who has been a better English player, ever? Okay you might go to the World Cup in 1966 when I hadn't been born yet but in my generation looking around, I'd ask who is a better player than Gerrard? Certainly in the Premier League."

Despite admitting that Gerrard had never won anything with England, Owen described him as "a freak" because his ability allowed him to operate at the highest level for 15 years.

Throughout his career with the Reds, which spanned a remarkable 17 seasons, Gerrard racked up 710 appearances in all competitions and scored 185 goals to match. Nine trophies were won, including two FA Cup's and one Champions League, while there were countless personal accolades.

Michael Owen played with Steven Gerrard at Liverpool -Credit:Daily Mirror
Michael Owen played with Steven Gerrard at Liverpool -Credit:Daily Mirror

Owen said: "He was just the most incredible player. I played with some of the world's best, R9, Figo, Zidane and Rooney. Gerrard is up there with the likes of Zidane, he was incredible. For someone to be on the scene for three or four years and surpass that? I don't agree."

As Owen alludes to, Bellingham's short time on the professional scene, albeit successful, cannot compare with that of Gerrard who boasted longevity throughout his remarkable career. While the 21-year-old already has four trophies to his name, including a La Liga and Champions League double with Real Madrid last season, he still has a long way to go.

But Owen recognises this, and admits it is entirely possible for Bellingham to one day surpass Gerrard's career achievements. He added: "Bellingham could surpass Gerrard one day, it's possible, anything can change. The signs are that Bellingham could go on to be as good as someone like that. That is incredible in itself. So absolutely. But he's only been around a handful of years. Gerrard had been doing that for years and years, carrying teams on his own.

"Bellingham has the potential to be something special but at the moment, if we're looking at the likes of Lampard and Gerrard. All of those players have achieved more than anyone in this squad. But that's fine, they have careers to go and have, and we'll judge them at the end of it. But at the moment, it's more, can he be as good as Gerrard?"