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.”
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.”
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
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.’