Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has admitted that the lack of world-class players in the Premier League is the main reason for their inability to perform in European competitions.
He was brutally honest when asked why the English clubs have failed to impress in recent years.
Speaking as a pundit on BT Sport, as per the Daily Mail, he said: “In those days we had teams that were conditioned to go into tournaments and go deep into tournaments.”
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“The mentality was about getting through the first period of the tournaments and taking each game as it comes.”
However, times have changed and the former centre-back believes English sides now struggle to keep hold of any world-class talent to mount a serious challenge in European competitions.
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STARS LEAVING ENGLAND
According to ex-England international, the loss of stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez have hindered the progress of the Premier League and the clubs have somewhat struggled to replace them ever since.
“[In the Champions League] there’s consistency among these teams within the leagues they play in, they can go 20 games on a winning streak drawing a couple and maybe losing one.”
“I think back then the best players in the world, there were some in this country. At the moment there aren’t any.”
Manchester City paved their way past Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday, guaranteeing a quarter-final spot, becoming only the fourth English club to reach that stage since 2012.
Ferdinand, himself, played in three Champions League finals during his illustrious Manchester United career, winning the trophy once, while losing on both occasions to Spanish giants Barcelona.
SUCCESS AT RIVAL LEAGUES
He insists despite the Premier League being one of the most entertaining leagues in world football, the top footballers choose either Spain or Germany as their preferred destination, hence those aforementioned countries have had more successes in club competitions.
Ferdinand also bemoans the opportunity lost by the Red Devils to lure Pep Guardiola, who will take charge for arch-rivals Manchester City from 2016-17.
As reported by Daily Mirror, he said: “When I heard Guardiola was available, I said Manchester United had to be in the mix to get him. City were the successful ones, in the end, and I was very gutted. He has managed very successful teams and I’m sure he will go very well at City.”
NEED FOR A CHANGE
While Chelsea have already exited the tournament after losing to PSG, fellow Londoners, Arsenal are destined for the same in the hands of Barcelona who have a two-goal advantage going into the second-leg.
With heavyweights like Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all struggling to keep up domestically too, the 37-year-old believes unless the quality among the top clubs improves, there won’t be much chance of any English success in the Champions League anytime soon.