Steven Gerrard has admitted that, as a Liverpool fan, he hates David de Gea, insisting he was the best goalkeeper in the world at this moment in time.
The Spaniard has further cemented himself as one of the finest shot-stoppers in the modern game with sensational saves against Liverpool and Sevilla this season.
He endured a difficult night against Sevilla on Tuesday night, however, failing to keep out a Wassim Ben Yedder header that he normally would have saved.
Nonetheless, Gerrard was extremely complimentary of De Gea on BT Sport on Tuesday night, describing the keeper as “world class”.
“Well I think the biggest compliment I can pay him is I hate him,” he said. “So do all Liverpool fans.”
“He’s world class, some of the saves he’s made. He has no right to make some of them saves. He makes difficult shots look really easy, which is what world-class keepers do.
“I don’t really go off the stats or the graphs, I go off my eyes. You can look at them and change them and twist them whatever way you want.
“He probably is the best keeper in the world at this present time.”
The notion that, for all the millions spent in the post Fergie era, United’s only genuine, constantly world class player in their squad is a man signed for less than £20m in 2011 is dispiriting to say the very least.
Whether he can be deemed the best goalkeeper in the world is difficult to answer. There are aspects to his game – near post shots and one-on-ones, for example – that are not squeaky clean, but there are no doubts that he is the most thrilling shot-stopper out there.
And while he will kick himself over Sevilla’s second goal, supporters know, deep down, that thing could have been a lot worse without him.