Rio Ferdinand explains why he would rather face Ibrahimovic than Vardy

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Rio Ferdinand has made a number of odd claims in recent weeks.

When news broke that Manchester United had struck a deal to re-sign Paul Pogba for £112 million, the former centre-back said he wasn't worth the money.

In the days that followed, Ferdinand then claimed he would be worth £70-80 million in today's transfer market given the sheer amount of money now at clubs' disposal.


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Well, he's been at it again, this time speaking ahead of United's Community Shield clash - and win - against Leicester City at Wembley.

As part of BT Sport's pundity team, Ferdinand was asked who he would rather defend against out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jamie Vardy, scorer of 24 Premier League goals last season.

One would expect his answer to be Vardy - after all, Ibrahimovic is one of football's greatest strikers - yet the Englishman claimed he would prefer to mark United's summer signing.

He said: "I'd rather play against Zlatan, the reason being he comes to the ball more often, he doesn't really run in behind and ask you questions.

"Defenders don't want to be running towards their own goal.

"But Vardy, he asks you physically: 'can you stay with me for 90 minutes', and it's difficult for a defender to do it."

Ferdinand makes a valid point that Vardy's pace and energy is a nightmare for defenders, but this is Zlatan Ibrahimovic we're talking about here.

Strong, clinical and with a vast skill set, the 34-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic career and won silverware wherever he has played. He also scored 38 goals in Ligue 1 for Paris Saint-Germain last season.

Ferdinand isn't the only one who holds reservations about Ibrahimovic, though, after Arsene Wenger claimed his age could work against him in the Premier League.

"Honestly I don't know [how he will do]," Arsenal's manager said prior to his side's pre-season friendly with Manchester City.

"Going for him is his class, his talent, his desire to do well. What goes against him is that he is not the youngest player any more, so you are questioned about that in every game."

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Leicester City
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo

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