The former Manchester United manager claimed in his new autobiography, which is being released on Thursday, that the England skipper was not a “top, top player” despite previously trying to sign the Reds star.
The 33-year-old, who has played in two Champions League finals – lifting the trophy in 2005, scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United at St James’ Park last weekend.
And Liverpool manager Rodgers hit back at Ferguson’s comments, hailing his talismanic skipper as a “wonderful player”.
“I think everyone who’s seen the comments will think they are harsh,” Rodgers told talkSPORT.
“I’ve watched Gerrard for many years and recognised he’s a top player but it’s only when you come in and work with the man that you realise how professional he is on a daily basis.
“His performance level at 33-years of age shows he’s a top, top player. He’s a great talent, a wonderful player and I don’t think anyone could argue against that.”
The Liverpool boss, whose side are currently third in the Premier League, also backed Daniel Sturridge to blossom into one of Europe’s top strikers after scoring seven top-flight goals in eight games.
“He’s been brilliant. He’s come here in January with a point to prove. He’s very hungry and his goals per game ratio has been remarkable,” added Rodgers.
“Daniel’s a player who produces. He’s a natural goalscorer, but he’s got so many other things to his game, pace, power and great feet. I think in the next few years he could be one of the top strikers in Europe.”
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news