Liverpoolfc.com.

Gerrard made his 600th appearance for Liverpool on Sunday against Newcastle, and played many of those games in a midfield partnership with the Spanish playmaker, who was at Anfield from 2004 to 2009. During that time, the Reds won the Champions League and the F.A. Cup.

Alonso used the landmark occasion to speak for his admiration for the England International on Real Madrid TV.

We are great friends and we still keep in touch,” said the Spaniard.

“He was a great influence to me. When I arrived at Liverpool I was 22 and he was the captain, he was the main man at the club. For me he was a reference, the way he behaved with his teammates and with the supporters as well. I learned a lot from him.

Alonso, aged 30, continued by discussing some of Gerrard’s on-pitch attributes.

“He could play in any national team in the world because he has so many great qualities. He is flexible. He can play at the English pace or he can associate with the ball very well.

“He is a very intelligent player, so he could play anywhere – not just any national team but any club in the world.

The Real Madrid midfielder believes that despite not winning international trophies, the England Captain will go down in history as one of Football’s greatest players.

“He’ll absolutely be remembered as one of the greats. For me he is already one of the greats.

“He has achieved great things and in very important moments he has been the man for Liverpool. We had great European nights and he was the main man. For me he’s a great player.

“Hopefully he will reach 700 games” he added.

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