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Rio Ferdinand Exclusive: Scholes Was A Conductor, Gerrard Did Everything And Lampard Was A Strong Character

Ben Welch

| Last updated 

Rio Ferdinand Exclusive: Scholes Was A Conductor, Gerrard Did Everything And Lampard Was A Strong Character

Multiple choices, one answer. No shirking. Rio Ferdinand are you ready to play Versus? Let's go!

Midfield playmaker: Scholes or Gerrard or Lampard?

"I'd take a little bit from each of them. Frank was just such a strong character. When we were young he had people shouting at him, 'You're only in this team because your uncle is the manager.' I've not seen many players who are as diligent and hard-working as him. Stevie was always there for that Roy of the Rovers moment and he could do everything - attack, defend, shoot, pass, the lot. Scholesy could do anything you want on a pitch. He was the goalscoring midfielder that evolved into the conductor. Not many players have done that."



Manchester United's next signing: Harry Kane or Jadon Sancho?

I'd take both. Man Utd have got the money. Harry Kane brings goals, at any level. Jadon Sancho is young, fresh and fearless. He's gone to Germany and worked hard at his game when people wanted him to stay here. Physically he looks ready already and now he's learning new things tactically. Any top team would want him in their squad.

Play for: Liverpool or Manchester City?

Neither. You've got to delete that question... because it won't get answered.

No surprise that Rio couldn't pick between United's two biggest rivals. Image: Train Effective
No surprise that Rio couldn't pick between United's two biggest rivals. Image: Train Effective

Man-management: Harry Redknapp or Sir Alex Ferguson?

Sir Alex Ferguson. He knew how to judge the mentality of players - when to drop them, when to shout and when to put an arm around them. As a young player Harry gave you the confidence to go out there and make mistakes, but just don't make the same ones too often.

Hardman: Roy Keane or Nemanja Vidic?


Vidic. Just you look at his nose - that tells you everything. You knew that he'd throw himself at every single ball and do anything to stop a goal going in. He was an immense player.

World Cup wind-up: David Beckham or Wayne Rooney?

It has to be the Becks one. He got out of the car in Moss Side and started running. I was thinking, 'We've got a tournament in three weeks if he gets run over, I'm getting blamed'.


Hairstyle: Cornrows or bleach blonde?

Both were trendsetting. When I signed for Utd I had bleached blond hair and people hammered me for my suit and that, but I looked sharp.

Ferdinand on day one at United with his bleach blonde hair. Image: PA Images
Ferdinand on day one at United with his bleach blonde hair. Image: PA Images

City: London or Manchester?


London. I'm a born and bred London boy so that's never going to change.

Goat: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

We shouldn't pick. We're blessed to be living in their era. Messi gets in the game all over the park. You think you've got him covered and then he pops up... takes on a player... bang, goal. Whereas you know Ronaldo is going to be hanging around the area, ready to score. He's lethal.

Hairdryer: Sir Alex Ferguson or Roy Keane?

Sir Alex Ferguson. He used to turn blue, but he did it for the right reasons. Sometimes he'd shout at me to get to someone else, or shout at Wayne Rooney to get to someone. There was a reason, a method behind the madness.

Goal celebration: Rio Ferdinand Denmark 2002 or Peter Crouch robot Jamaica 2006?

I've got to give it to Crouchy. He was stiff as a board, but when you have the audacity to throw shapes at 6ft 7in you deserve all the accolades you get.

Crouch's Robot became is iconic. Image: PA Image
Crouch's Robot became is iconic. Image: PA Image

Tekkers: Joe Cole or Cristiano Ronaldo?

When Joe Cole was a kid he was the most skilful player I'd ever seen. You'd pay to watch him train, but in the end I'd say Cristiano. He used to treat the Nevilles like schoolboys, destroying them for a laugh.

Dance duo: Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker or Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba?

I've got to go with my brother. I don't know about Nigel, but my brother has got moves so I'm going to go with him. [Do you remember the dance your brother and Nigel did to Crank That (Soulja Boy), by Soulja Boy Tell'em?] Yeah. I told my brother at the time, 'What you doing?'. I don't like all that. I don't mind a dance at a party, at my wedding - I almost pulled my calf I was dancing that much - but on the pitch and in the changing rooms... I don't know.

Take on a night out: Gary Neville or Phil Neville?

Gary, because Phil doesn't drink, but both are boring.

Nike ad: Airport or Secret Tournament?

I starred in the Secret Tournament [smiles] but the airport one was the best. I'll never forget that. Nike were the trailblazers for adverts.

Style Icon: David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo?

Cristiano a style icon yeah? [Smirks] Okay. We used to hammer him for his clothes at Man Utd. He's improved... he's obviously seen a few of my pictures and copied me. Becks is the style man, isn't it? He's always been someone who's experimented with his clothes.

Dance: Ballet or street?

Ballet. It's harder than a lot of people think. I'd like to see a lot of these young upstarts who think they're the man to go and do a bit of ballet. They would be walking funny on the way out. It taught me balance, poise and being able to move your body.

Song: Andy Cole Outstanding or Ian Wright Do the Wright Thing?

I like Coley's song better... but both horrendous efforts. [SPORTbible: Would you ever release a single?] No, that's not my game. I wouldn't embarrass myself. They must have been paid so much money to do that.

Worst moment: Joe Cole 2006 v Craig Bellamy 2009?

The Bellamy one - I was injured - so that's not as bad and Michael Owen won us the game. I ran up to him afterwards and said: "Thank you so much. You saved me." But the Joe Cole one was terrible. I used to laugh at people who got done like that and then it happened to me. I was just lucky social media wasn't around back then because I'd have had to retire.

Rio Ferdinand was speaking at the launch of Train Effective, a new app to help any aspiring footballer improve their physical, technical, mental and tactical training skills. Head to:

Topics: Frank Lampard, Liverpool, Paul Scholes, Football News, Chelsea, Manchester United, Premier League, Rio Ferdinand, Jadon Sancho, Steven Gerrard, Harry Kane

Ben Welch
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