Football

Rio Ferdinand names the best player other than Cristiano Ronaldo he played with at Manchester United


The Portuguese has won titles with United, Real Madrid and Juventus (Picture: Getty)

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player he ever played alongside at Old Trafford, though says Paul Scholes is also in contention for that honour.

Five-time Balon d’Or winner Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League with United during his six seasons at the club, scoring 118 goals in all competitions before joining Real Madrid in a then world-record deal.

While Ronaldo is the obvious choice for Ferdinand’s best ever teammate, the former centre-back has a host of other world-class players to pick from as the next best.

Scholes’ teammates have always spoke highly about his ridiculous passing ability (Picture: Getty)

Ferdinand won six Premier League titles over 12 years at Old Trafford, playing with some of the world’s best players for both club and country, but it was homegrown midfielder Scholes who always stood out.

Asked to name the best player he ever played with during an Instagram live chat with the Arco Academy, Ferdinand said without hesitation: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo, obvious for everyone to see why.

‘But also another one would be Paul Scholes. Crazy player.

‘If I had my last bit of money and I had to bet it on a player hitting a target from anywhere on the pitch, he would be the man that I back. Like a radar, his foot was crazy, mad passer.’

Asked if he felt Scholes retired too early from England duty, Ferdinand added: ‘Yeah definitely, but then that was because he wasn’t being played in the right position.’

Ferdinand was also asked about the hardest game of his career and three matches in particular stood out, with all three opponents hailing from Spain.

He continued: ‘There’s a couple man. When I played at Leeds in the semi-final against Valencia, that’s one of the best teams I played against. They had like Mendieta, Baraja, Ayala, Sanchez. They had a really good team then, they beat us 3-0.

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‘Then after that I played against Barcelona, the team at Wembley that beat us, they were just devastating. They embarrassed us that day. They were unbelievable that day and they had Lionel Messi, so that was just the icing on the cake for them.

‘Then after that we played against Athletic Bilbao for Man United. Bielsa was their manager, who’s the manager of Leeds now. They were one of the hardest teams I played against because physically they ran like I’ve never seen before. Mad.’

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