Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has picked five Liverpool players in his FIFA Team of the Year – but zero Man United players, while Lionel Messi was also overlooked.
The former England centre-back mainly picked an XI mainly made up of Bayern Munich and Liverpool players, plus Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Ramos.
But there was no place for Bruno Fernandes, despite the incredible form he’s shown in the last 12 months, transforming Man United’s attack since joining for £67.6 million from Sporting CP.
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) January 12, 2021
Ferdinand picked Liverpool No 1 Alisson in goal describing him as “Mr consistency, Mr quiet” but someone who would “get the job done”.
The centre-backs in Rio’s 4-3-3 were Virgil van Dijk and Ramos, praised as boasting “pace, character, personality, strength and charisma.”
There were also two attacking, young full-backs in the form of right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Bayern’s left-sided sensation Alphonso Davies.
The midfield three is Kevin De Bruyne (“the best midfielder in the Premier League”), Thiago Alcantara (“the artist”) and Joshua Kimmich (“the most intelligent player that Pep Guardiola has ever coached”).
Which leaves a three-man attack of Ronaldo on the left, Sadio Mane on the right and Robert Lewandowski through the middle. “No need to explain why… goals, goals, goals,” promises Ferdinand.
It’s certainly a strong XI, although many will be surprised at the absence of Messi. Ferdinand has long praised him as one of the all-time greats and, despite Barcelona’s struggles, Messi still finished La Liga as top scorer last season.
However it’s clear Ferdinand is showing no bias at all by picking five Liverpool players, one Manchester City midfielder, yet none for United – the club where he won the Champions League and six Premier League titles, among other honours.
Rio’s full EA Sports FUT XI is below. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
GK: Alisson (Liverpool)
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
LB: Alphonso Davies (Bayern)
CM: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
CM: Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool)
CM: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern)
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
RW: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)