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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Rio Ferdinand names his bold England XI for 2022 World Cup

Rio Ferdinand has named his England XI for the World Cup.

The former Manchester United defender, who made 81 appearances for England and was included in four World Cup squads, gave his thoughts about Gareth Southgate’s side on his YouTube channel: Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE.

Who should start in goal? Who starts at right-back? Should Harry Maguire play? Ferdinand provided an answer to all of those questions.

View who he selected below…

RIO FERDINAND SELECTS HIS ENGLAND XI FOR THE WORLD CUP (FORMATION 3-5-2)

GK Jordan Pickford

“Pickford picks himself. He’s never let England down. He’s been in really good form this season. You’ve got to look at his history with England – he’s been brilliant and he’s still playing. He’s a shoo-in in this team.”

RWB: Reece James

“He can match people physically and defensively. Going forward he’s ridiculous.”

RCB: Kyle Walker

“He’s the security blanket for the whole back three.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Kyle Walker of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Martin Rickett – Pool/Getty Images )

CB: John Stones

Ferdinand went with Stones in the middle over Harry Maguire. Ferdinand would not pick Maguire in his side as he is not playing.

LCB: Fikayo Tomori

“I think he deserves a chance. He went over to Italy and won Serie A. He’s been AC Milan’s best defender. He deserves a chance to go in there and perform.”

LWB: Bukayo Saka

“I think Tomori will be able to take care of that side, not a problem. I wouldn’t give Saka many defensive duties. There are so many ways you can utilise him.”

Bukayo Saka in action for England
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 11: Bukayo Saka of England is consoled by Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England following defeat in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

CM: Declan Rice

“Mad form last season. I don’t where his ceiling is yet. I love talking about him because he’s a great kid. Every season he is bringing something new.

CM: Jude Bellingham

“No hesitation.”

Jude Bellingham in action for England
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JUNE 14: Jude Bellingham of England during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between England and Hungary at Molineux on June 14, 2022 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

CAM: Phil Foden/Jack Grealish

After ruling out Mason Mount, Ferdinand couldn’t pick a winner between Foden and Grealish.

“Do you know how good this guy is? I see some disrespect sometimes. He plays in any era and scores in any era.”

ST: Raheem Sterling

“I’m going with Sterling. He’s underrated and disrespected. Mad player. Any era, he performs. He’s a top player. Intelligent, effective, hurts defenders… defenders don’t want to play against him.”

Ferdinand also said he’d take Jadon Sancho to the World Cup. When asked for his wildcard for the squad, the former Man United defender named Eberechi Eze, who he described as a ‘mad talent.’

QUIZ: Can you name these 40 ‘obscure’ England players from the 21st century?



He made two appearances for England in 2005…



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