Footballers often talk in cliches, trying to steer away from saying anything controversial and to maintain the utmost respect for their fellow professionals.
But one could argue that Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has been so respectful that he actually managed to spout something controversial in an interview with the Daily Mail.
Can was talking about new manager Jurgen Klopp, a fellow German, and how he enjoyed playing the boss when he was the manager of Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
The article focused on Can’s maturity and later on comparisons between himself and club legend Steven Gerrard with Brendan Rodgers once tipping him to replace the former skipper.
Then Can went on to blurt out this doozy of a quote.
I don’t think anyone can replace Steven Gerrard, be it Messi or whoever. Of course I would like to follow in his path but he really was the best player for Liverpool, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
All due respect to Gerrard, Lionel Messi could replace any player as the totem poll of a team. He’s not a central midfielder but Can meant as a leading figure rather than a like for like tough tackler. We’re talking about a player who might literally be the best player of all time, there’s no need to be fawning over Gerrard like that.