Rio Ferdinand Names the 12 Players He Considers World Class After Bukayo Saka Debate

Rio Ferdinand Names the 12 Players He Considers World Class After Bukayo Saka Debate

Fred Kennedy
updated at February 22, 2024 at 9:29 AM
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ENG Premier League
England
Bukayo Saka logo
B.Saka
Arsenal logoFEngland logo
Kylian Mbappé logo
K.Mbappé
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) logoFFrance logo
Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante logo
Rodri
Manchester City logoMSpain logo
Virgil van Dijk logo
V. van Dijk
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E.Haaland
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  • Rio Ferdinand recently sparked controversy after he claimed Bukayo Saka is not a world-class player yet
  • According to the former defender, Manchester City ace, Phil Foden, is a better player than the Arsenal ace
  • The Man United icon has now included a Man City quintet in his list of 12 players who he feels do fit the bill

Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand, has finally named the 12 players that he considers world-class.

Ferdinand recently sparked controversy after he claimed that Arsenal ace, Bukayo Saka, is not quite at that level yet.

At the time, the former defender went on to claim that Manchester City hotshot, Phil Foden, is actually better than Saka.

TNT Sports pundit Rio Ferdinand during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton FC at Etihad Stadium. Photo by James Gill - Danehouse.
TNT Sports pundit, Rio Ferdinand, during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton FC at the Etihad Stadium. Photo by James Gill - Danehouse.
Source: Getty Images
"Listen. I think Saka’s been unreal. I actually think he needs a bit of a rest, so many games for a young kid. But I think, it’s almost like, what is world-class? He hasn’t done it in the Champions League, has he?" Rio said on VIBE with FIVE.
"Saka’s top, don’t get me wrong. He’s not world-class yet," he added.

Rio's opinion sparked anger and outrage from a section of Arsenal fans, with some suggesting that the pundit was being subjective.

Rio names 12 world-class players

The former England international has now outlined a list of 12 players that he considers world-class in the wake of the storm.

Per Metro UK, Rio named the Man City quintet of Ederson, Kyle Walker, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, and Erling Haaland on the list.

Liverpool's Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, and Mohamed Salah also made the cut, while Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, Bayern Munich's Harry Kane, and Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr and Jude Bellingham also getting the nod.

Arsenal fans boo Rio

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Rio Ferdinand having a rough time while on a Porto-bound plane after he encountered Arsenal fans who booed him over his remarks on Saka.

Despite doubling down on his criticism of the Gunners star later on his 'Vibe with Five' podcast, a number of the club's fans are still seemingly furious at the former England international.

The ex-defender reportedly came face to face with some of these Arsenal fans on a flight to Porto, with a video circulating on social media showing the supporters booing Ferdy.

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Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.