Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy has had two spell at Liverpool [Reuters]

Former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy has heaped praise on current manager Brendan Rodgers, claiming that he has put together a side close to the level of the one that enjoyed the most successful period in the club's history.

Liverpool dominated English football during the 1980s, winning seven league titles, two European Cups, two FA Cups, and four League Cups.

And Bellamy, who grew up watching that historic Liverpool side in their pomp before enjoying two spells at the club, claims that the current squad are capable of replicating that success.

"They had high energy doing that and when they had the ball, they would keep it. That's why Liverpool were so successful for long periods. This team now is the closest I've seen to that," Bellamy said in an interview with Liverpool official website.

"It's no disrespect to any of the players before that, it's just that Brendan fits what Liverpool have been doing in their most successful periods, 20 to 30 years ago. I get so excited watching Liverpool."

The Cardiff forward added his former side's 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford was particularly significant.

"When you're a supporter, you'll support no matter what, but actually watching this Liverpool team, it's the Liverpool team I grew up watching. It really is, especially after last Sunday. A lot of the fans have grown up watching that type of football; Liverpool would always, when they didn't have the ball, get it back very quickly.

"To take that to Old Trafford in the manner that they did, against Manchester United as well, how could you not be proud of that? How can you not be excited about what's to come in the future for a club like Liverpool?"

And with Liverpool just four points off leader Chelsea, Bellamy believes that Rodgers' side can not only win the Premier League but once again become the dominant force in English football for years to come.

"I just feel this is such a great opportunity for Liverpool now to really establish themselves, and hopefully go on and not just win a title, but kick on from there and dominate for a number of years."

"We all felt this was possible. Liverpool are a better team than Manchester United at this present moment, there are no two ways about that. I expected Liverpool to do well this season, I really did. I thought the season they are having this season would be next year - I feel they're a year ahead."

Bellamy will face his former club on Saturday when Liverpool visit the Cardiff City stadium.