Jamie Carragher gives odd reason why Kevin De Bruyne isn’t better than Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard

The Manchester City midfielder has won four Premier League titles but isn’t among the elite midfielders of recent generations, according to Carragher.

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Jamie Carragher has claimed Kevin De Bruyne cannot be considered a better player than Steven Gerrard because the Manchester City midfielder hasn’t yet produced an iconic ‘moment’ in the Champions League.

The Belgian was on target for City in the semi-final first-leg draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday and netted a sublime equaliser in a crucial period of the game in the Bernabeu. It means Pep Guardiola’s side will return to Manchester for next week’s reverse fixture with a slender advantage.

Speaking after the first leg, Carragher said another game-changing action in the final of this season’s competition could see De Bruyne remembered as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and elevate him above some of the game’s best-ever.

“That’s what the greatest players do, they have those moments,” said the ex-Liverpool defender on CBS Sport. “If he could be the man that brings them to the Champions League or the treble, even if we’re only talking about him being his normal self in two of the games, in the second leg and the final.

“We’re not questioning his ability, but in terms of where we rank players, we always rank players in the biggest moments and the biggest tournaments. I compared him to Luka Modric before the game in terms of, he’s won the Ballon d’Or, five European Cups, [played in a] World Cup final.

“Kevin, that’s not his fault, sometimes it’s the team you play with, but you have to do it on those biggest moments. He’s delivered tonight and if he could do it again, if they get to the final then I think we’re talking about him as not just one of the best midfielders of his generation, but one of the best midfield players we’ve seen in the history of the game.

“He’s that good Kevin De Bruyne, I don’t think I’ve seen many better. I’ve probably been watching football for 30/40 years - I don’t think I’ve seen a better passer of the ball than Kevin De Bruyne, but he needs that Champions League. He needs to have it and be the man, or an integral part of that, and he can go up there with Xavi, [Andreas] Iniesta, Modric.”

Asked in the studio by fellow pundit Micah Richards whether De Bruyne will be remembered as a greater player than Gerrard, Carragher replied: “Not right now because Stevie got that Istanbul moment.

“I couldn’t say Steven Gerrard was a lot better than Kevin De Bruyne, there’s nothing in it, it will split a debate. But what Steven has got is that Istanbul moment [in the 2005 Champions League final]. It’s just one game, but it’s a moment that you can’t ever take out ofyour mind when you think of Steven Gerrard.

“We still haven’t got that one moment with Kevin De Bruyne at the highest level. We have hundreds of moments of De Bruyne showing he’s the best midfielder in the Premier League for the last five years, one of the best midfielders in world football, but I just think of that one moment - and this season could be that moment.”