Andrea Pirlo has backed Steven Gerrard to continue to excel in his new deeper-lying midfield role and insists the Liverpool captain can go on playing at the highest level for several years to come.

The 33-year-old has operated from a different position in recent weeks, just in front of the Reds' back four, to impressive effect.

Juventus star Pirlo admits he's been impressed by what he's seen so far, telling "The intelligent players adapt - and Steven Gerrard has the ability to do that.

"He is an excellent passer of the ball, possesses an intelligent football brain, and has great vision. He has all the qualities to play a deeper role.

"Top European clubs are always progressing with what they can do off the field. Training is getting more scientific, and we are constantly getting more educated on nutrition.

"If you look after yourself and are willing to adapt, there is no reason why you can't play at the top level until your late 30s.

"Gerrard is a top professional, it is very possible he has many top years left for Liverpool and England in a new role."