Rio Ferdinand reveals what Sven-Goran Eriksson told him not to do for England

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It can't be argued that England had a golden generation of players in the early 2000s.

Michael Owen, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were just some of the names that Sven-Goran Eriksson had at his disposal for the Three Lions.

Despite all the talented individuals, the Swede could never get England beyond the quarter-final stage of a major tournament - with World Cup defeats to Brazil and Portugal in 2002 and 2006 respectively.

Rio Ferdinand was a mainstay in Sven's team, forming a sometimes-impenetrable pairing with John Terry, and at their peak they were a world-class duo.

Since Ferdinand and Terry got older and faded away from the international scene, England haven't really had a no-nonsense leader like former Chelsea stalwart Terry.

But you could compare John Stones to Ferdinand as they both love to bring the ball out from the back, a style of play that current manager Gareth Southgate encourages his players to take advantage of.

Ferdinand praised Southgate for his ideology, whilst taking a dig at Eriksson's management for not letting him show his best assets when he was at the peak of his powers.

"This is a key thing for this new England team and how Southgate has built them. It's important to be able to play out from the back,' Ferdinand told the BBC before England's 6-1 destruction of Panama.

Rio Ferdinand Press Conference London

"When (Glenn) Hoddle was manager, he was encouraging us to come out and he would tell Paul Ince to react and move into a position when I'd commit someone.

"Sven got the job and one of the first conversations I had was "my centre backs don't run with the ball". I wanted to play for England so I'm going to do what I was asked to do.

"I was devastated and gutted with that, it probably took away from my performances in an England shirt and collectively as well because I felt we were going in the right direction with Glenn and took steps back with Sven."

Pretty damning words from Rio about Eriksson's tenure, what kind of manager would restrict such an important player from expressing himself with his best skills?

Needless to say, England fans have taken to Twitter to ridicule Eriksson and praise Ferdinand for his honesty.

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Frank Lampard
Rio Ferdinand
David Beckham
John Stones
England Football
World Cup
Wayne Rooney
John Terry

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