Rio Ferdinand and John Terry have traded blows in an ugly debate over Chelsea legend Terry’s ranking among the greatest centre-backs in Premier League history.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand placed Terry fifth on a recent episode of Between the Lines starring Liverpool ‘s Virgil van Dijk, with the pundit naming himself, his guest, Jaap Stam and Nemanja Vidic ahead of the Stamford Bridge hero. Terry took to social media to fire back at Ferdinand’s selection by boasting about his career achievements, prompting a response from his former England teammate.
“The moment one has to start pushing their own records and stats it’s really time to start addressing the fragile ego,” Ferdinand, who confidently ranked himself top of the list, tweeted shortly before midnight on Thursday evening. “You’re lucky I even put you in the top five after the racism case with my brother so be thankful you made it.”
Wasting no time in the early hours of Friday morning, Terry fired back just 14 minutes later by replying on Twitter : “A fragile ego is putting yourself at number one. Thanks for putting me in your top five.”
His initial response to Ferdinand was a much more detailed one. On his Instagram story, the Blues behemoth posted a series of images and graphs containing a host of statistics and records to show off his outstanding career which saw him finish with 492 top-flight appearances, five Premier League titles and one Champions League winners’ medal as well as three UEFA Defender of the Year awards.
One was the list of captains with most Premier League titles and another graph laid out the centre-backs with the highest win percentage in the division’s history. Terry also displayed the top 10 players who have received the most nominations for the FIFPRO World XI.
All three were topped by Terry when it came to centre-backs, captioning the post by writing: “opinions are great but the stats don’t lie,” alongside another list of the top-scoring centre-backs in history in which he was included.
Ferdinand did wax lyrical about Terry when explaining his rankings to Van Djik, who came third, behind Vidic and ahead of Stam. The ex-Old Trafford stalwart claimed that Terry – praised of his longevity at Chelsea – was also a “much better footballer” than people gave him credit for and “could play off his left and right foot.”
Van Dijk, meanwhile, named Terry as fourth-best in his selection, opting to omit himself in humble fashion. The Liverpool star gave Ferdinand top spot, had Manchester City icon Vincent Kompany second, fellow Dutchman and former United rock Stam third, with ex-Anfield ace Sami Hyypia earning fifth.