Steven Gerrard has hailed new Liverpool team-mate Joe Cole as equal to - if not better than - Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.
Reds captain Gerrard reportedly played a key role in luring Cole to Anfield on a free transfer from Chelsea this summer.
And the 28-year-old has heaped praise on his fellow midfielder and England colleague by comparing him to the famous Barcelona ace.
Speaking to Match of the Day magazine, Gerrard said: "Messi can do some amazing things, but anything he can do Joe can do as well, if not better.
"He used to shock us in training by doing footy tricks with a golf ball that most players can't even do with a football.
"I really fancy Joe for the [player of the year] award this season."
Speculation had surfaced that Gerrard could depart Liverpool this summer, but after sitting down with new manager Roy Hodgson, the skipper has committed his future to the Merseysiders.
"It's a great club and after speaking with Roy Hodgson I'm really pleased to see his plans for the club," he added.
"It's a new era now - we must forget about the horror of what happened last season and get this club back to where it belongs, which is the Champions League at the very least."