Benitez backs Gerrard for England captaincy

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London, Feb 25(ANI): Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez reckons if striker Steven Gerrard is handed over the England captaincy for this summer's World Cup, he can lap up the challenge and achieve greater heights.

Regular captain John Terry was stripped of the responsibility earlier this month following allegations over his private life and replacement Rio Ferdinand is struggling with a back injury.

Vice-captain Gerrard is set to take the armband for his country from injured Ferdinand in next week's friendly against Egypt, and could be in the frame to lead his country with doubts continuing over Ferdinand's fitness.

"I think captaining England will be good for his confidence and could also have a good effect on him," The Sun quoted Benitez, as saying.

"We know he is important for us, and also important for England. I think he has to take the responsibility as a positive sign," he added.

The 29-year-old made his international debut in 2000, and represented England in the UEFA European Championships in 2000 and 2004 as well as the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where he was the team's top goalscorer with two goals. (ANI)

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