Rio Ferdinand has picked five of the best players he's played with in a revealing response to a question posed by England rugby star Danny Cipriani.
The Sale Sharks fly-half wanted to know which three former teammates the QPR defender rated as the best and why, although Ferdinand responded with five names at the launch of his new book in London.
Two obvious choices
Unsurprisingly, the former Manchester United centre back selected players from his time at Old Trafford, although international colleagues also made their mark on the 35-year-old.
His first two choices, both former Red Devils, will not come as a surprise to many, as he revealed his selections to GiveMeSport.
"Cristiano Ronaldo, just an unbelievable professional. He would have never got to where he is now as the best player in the world without the hard work he used to put in on the training pitch all the time," Ferdinand replied when posed Danny Cipriani's question.
"Working on different skills, step overs and shooting with either feet, free-kicks, receiving the ball. He used to do a lot of stuff after training - he wouldn't be one of the guys to just walk in. He'd go in the gym, then he'd go and do loads of stuff. The consummate professional.
"Paul Scholes, the most naturally gifted player I've ever played with. He'd come back from pre-season, from holiday after three or four weeks off in the summer - normally everyone else comes in and it would take a month or so to get their eye back in and their touch right - and day one, Scholes is there, same touch as he left with. It's just disheartening for everyone else really."
Ferdinand then paused to consider his other options, which came from West Ham, Leeds, Manchester United and England.
And, it was an international trio who got the nod from the defender, although he did spend time at club level with two of his final three answers.
Technically gifted players
"Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. Both of them, in terms of just players, technically gifted in being able to do everything almost. Gerrard could pass, shoot, run with the ball, defend, tackle. He could do everything - a great player," he added.
"Rooney as well, similar. He can be the person who creates the goals and he can be the one who finishes off the chances.
"Frank Lampard, I'll have to put in that group as well. Just another person who's up there as one of the hardest working players.
"He probably wasn't blessed with the same ability as those guys in terms of technique and being flashy on the eye, but he was the best executor of chances and finishing off moves, and that wasn't just through having natural ability. He works on that every day, even today."
Rio Ferdinand was speaking to GiveMeSport at the launch of his new book, #2sides. You can buy a copy of the book HERE
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