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Rio Better Than Chelsea’s Terry and Liverpool’s Carragher?

Rio Ferdinand is a player that I have taken several years to warm to, with the player’s change in attitude aiding my change in opinion. Whilst he has matured immensely in his time at United, his form has improved every season, which culminated in last season’s brilliantly reliable presence that he provided. Had Ronaldo not enjoyed such a phenomenal season, Rio would have easily be named our Player of the Season.

With the season-long injury to Gary Neville, Ferdinand stood in admirably as a captain, whether he had the armband or not, leading the team out in our European Cup final victory over Chelsea.

Whilst Chelsea fans will argue John Terry is the best defender going, and Liverpool fans reckon it’s Jamie Carragher, Sir Alex Ferguson and Gary Pallister have championed Ferdinand as not only the best defender in England, but Europe as well.

“When Rio is at his best, there is no finer defender in Europe,” said Pallister. “He has pace, is composed and uses the ball intelligently. We all know he had a difficult time with his contract negotiations and before that the missed drugs test. But these are the kind of events that make you stronger and Rio is now fulfilling all the potential people knew he had.”

Gary Pallister was one half of the great defensive duo, along with Steve Bruce, that dominated the Premiership in the early 90s. Ferguson has claimed that Ferdinand with Nemanja Vidic are the best defensive partnership for years.

“Rio has been the best defender in the country if not Europe for a couple of years,” said Sir Alex Ferguson. “His maturity and leadership have been key factors in the team’s success. He is someone that young players learn from and that more experienced players respect. I have not seen a better defensive pairing than him and Nemanja for a long time.”

Rio Ferdinand:
PFA Premier League Team of the Year – 2001/2002, 2004/2005, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008
League title – 3
Champions League – 1
League Cup – 1

John Terry:
PFA Premier League Team of the Year – 2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2005/2006,
PFA Player of the Year – 2004/2005
League title – 2
FA Cup – 2
League Cup – 2

Jamie Carragher:
PFA Premier League Team of the Year – 2005/2006
Champions League – 1
FA Cup – 2
League Cup – 2

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Stephen says:

    Scott, he is better than both of them put together!

  2. Eddie says:

    The best defender in the world for sure.

  3. Liverpool QED says:

    Rio isn’t good enough to shine Carra’s boots. It’s a disgrace that Rio is even mentioned in the same sentence as Carra!

  4. Kings says:

    Best defender in the world on current form in my opinion. Scott, I see you have put 2 FA Cup winners medals against John Terry – am I right in assuming that he got one in 2000?

  5. Sammo says:

    It’s very hard to compare them as it’s their importance and value to their own clubs that makes them good. Succesive England managers have chosen JC and RF above Carra though…and I’m a Lpool fan.

    When we ask the same question in 3 years though we’ll be talking about Agger, he’s seriously good.

  6. Stephen says:

    @ Liverpool QED , that is the funniest thing I have heard, since that last time I heard a scouser say “this is our year” ha ha

  7. n667 says:

    terry my be good enuf but carragher?? lmao

  8. Craig Mc says:

    Liverpool QED, your kind of reckoning is why Man Utd always score more goals against L’Pool and win more games against them. Because you believe your players are better than they are. Then you are a L’Pool fan, and I wouldn’t expect anything but bias of any fan who wants to support their own players. I think your misguided though!.

    Scott, if you do polls like this, could we have a situation where we can differentiate Man Utd fans votes, from the votes of those who visit the site, because most of the visitors are bound to be biased in favour of their players. Just as we would be on their blogs lol. Not all of us are honest assessors, but we should be.

  9. JO JO says:

    Carra didnt cost a penny & doesnt go around kicking women & missing drugs tests .
    Carra everyday .

  10. Stephen says:

    Has Rio let Torres out of his pocket yet?

  11. SAM says:

    He is better than jamie carragher even if he play with 1 leg. terry? he can suck cock

  12. Stephen says:

    No he just throws coins at innocent fans, and gets a caution for common assault!!! model professional

  13. n667 says:

    @JO JO
    he doesnt cost a penny , nor does he do any work in the field to deserve a penny

  14. Craig Mc says:

    Jo Jo, if you try and focus on the question asked, you may get a better reception. The question is, whether on the field of play, Ferdinand is a better DEFENDER than Terry or Carragher. If you believe Carragher is the better defender, then say so, and why. It is not being asked who has the BEST character or who is better role model, but who is the best defensive player. So jibes about any of the players characters, will only bring a tirade of abuse back on yourself. But perhaps you ‘get off’ on that eh?.

  15. Harry Singh says:

    Rio is over rated and no way worth wotever u mancs paid for him – £30m i think. Vidic is a much better player than Rhino and makes him look good by covering for his mistakes. Again same at crapski – slap head carvalho is better than Terry and again covers him when he’s made mistakes…

  16. Sean says:

    I am a Liverpool fan and would say Rio is better now he has matured! Lost the arrogance and gained focus since the rent boy incident.

    Carra miles better than an over-rated Terry though

  17. fracas says:

    Carragher all day long, you all know it aswell deep down inside your hearts. rio is alright but calm down, calm down!! he aint that good! you payed alot for him, so your going to have high aspirations for him and think he is great.

    John Terry is….. well shit.!

    Rio the best ever ever ever! LOL FCUK OFF

  18. jamestootle says:

    rio is easily one of the best defenders in the world in big games, the reason why he can never be THE best defender in te world is because he has a lazy attitude to simple games. almost all his mistakes come against crap clubs.

    Carra is the sort of player who will give 100% if liverpool are winning or losing, and its stupid to dismiss him as rubbish because if he came through the ranks in any team in the world he’d be loved by the fans. great defender, no pace at all though.

    terry is pretty good. hes got a good all round game and a great attitude, always giving his all and he gets goals, (although not many last year).

    the order currently is rio – terry – carra. theres no place for richards – woodgate – campbell – king or any of the other jokers in this discussion. richards is a great right back but a work in progress at CB.

    if rio had a less selfish attitude he’d be respected more when he retires, but despite being more gifted than the other 2, he’ll have about 1/2 the respect when he retires

  19. Gary says:

    lol you just knew some bitter twats would take the bait on this article. Jamie bloody Carragher better then Rio???? hahahaha jesus christ you scouse twats are delusional. Rio is far better positionaly and hes far better on the ball then Carragher. If you asked all the top managers in Europe who they would rather have all of them would have Rio. Before you mention Benitez Liverpool fans, remember I said who the TOP managers in Europe would rather have.

  20. nagraj says:

    To the liverpool c*nts on this here site…

    Jamie ‘never stepped out of livepool’ carra s the third or fourth best central defender on your team…

    The only reason he makes you t*ats all wet is the last ditch tackles he and JT make…

  21. tommy says:

    everyone is entitled to an opinion.but your fuckin insane mate.LFC for life

  22. jimmy Bob says:

    lol@the one paced hit and hope merchant that is carragher

    carragher gives his all and tries 100% but as a player he isn;t the same class as rio, in fact vidic is a better player than carragher and don’t be surprised to see skertel and agger at centre back with carragher shoved out to full back next year, carragher a poor mans stevie bruce

  23. AlexOfMancunia says:

    It’s funny how we (Utd fans) all rate Rio above Vidic (although I like Nemanja more, and have his name on the back of my shirt, Rio IS the best centre back in the world at the moment, with Vidic second to him) yet rival fans all rate Vidic above Rio.

    I think that this is because Vidic is the all action defender who gets his slots on MOTD each week, however Rio makes defending look so easy. The reason he hardly ever has to make last ditch tackles, and looks “lazy” to other fans is because he just never gets caught out positionally. Over the last two years his reading of the game has improved so much, and he’s nearly always in the right place. Also, his pace means that he doesn’t have to go to ground against the quicker strikers.

    Our defence was immense last season, and I hope that we don’t change any of the back four (not even to bring in Nev) for this season.

  24. Gary says:

    AlexOfMancunia: I dont think all United fans rate Rio above Vidic at all? We all appreciate them as a pair because there both vital. Even tho they have both been brilliant in the last 2 seasons I see it that Vidic was our star centre back in the 2006/07 season and visa versa with the season just gone. They both compliment each other. I think Rio edges it this year mainly because when Vidic got injured Rio had more responsiblity to perform well especially over the 2 legs with Barcelona when Vidic was missing. Saying that tho I thought Vidic was man of the match in the champions league final against Chelsea, he made some brilliant last ditch tackles and kept Drogba quiet who only threatened once with a long shot that hit the post. There both fantastic and as important as eachother.


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