Ronaldo, Henry, Rooney, no Lampard: Rio Ferdinand's ultimate all-time PL XI

Rio Ferdinand

In celebration of 30 years of the competition, BT Sport recently asked fans to name their ultimate all-time Premier League XI.

More than 200,000 supporters answered the call – and you can check out their final verdict here.

When you’re trying to squeeze three decades of elite performers into just a single XI, some highly deserving candidates are inevitably going to miss out.

In the case of the public’s team, the likes of Paul Scholes, Nemanja Vidic, John Terry and Cristiano Ronaldo were snubbed.

Prior to their coverage of Everton’s visit to Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime, the broadcaster asked several of their pundits to select their own Premier League ultimate XIs – including former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand’s Ultimate all-time Premier League XI

Rio Ferdinand ultimate Premier League XI

Ferdinand, who played 312 times in the Premier League for the Red Devils, selected no less than five of his former Old Trafford colleagues in his side, as well as selecting himself in the heart of defence.

“Yeah, I’ve picked myself. I don’t care,” declared Ferdinand when quizzed on his own presence in the team.

Other ex-United players picked by Ferdinand include Peter Schmeichel, his former central defensive partner Vidic, Scholes, Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

Curiously, Ferdinand’s United and England colleague Gary Neville doesn’t get the nod at right-back. The berth instead goes to Manchester City’s Kyle Walker.

Ferdinand and Vidic at Man Utd
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 12: Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United celebrates scoring the winning goal with team-mate Nemanja Vidic during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Scholes is joined in a three-man midfield by Steven Gerrard and Patrick Vieira, meaning there’s no room for Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.

Ferdinand, who played alongside Lampard as a youngster at West Ham, admitted that he probably should have included his former teammate.

“I woke up this morning thinking about this team. I should have put Lampard in. I think he’s the most effective midfielder.”

Lampard celebrates at Chelsea
STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND – JANUARY 12: Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on January 12, 2013, in Stoke-on-Trent, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

When asked over who he would axe to accommodate Lampard, Rio sheepishly replied: “Gerrard, maybe.”

One call Ferdinand wasn’t willing to back down on, though, was the inclusion of Rooney at the head of the attack at the expense of the Premier League’s all time record goalscorer, Alan Shearer.

“An in-form Rooney is one of the best players we’ve ever seen. He’s a ridiculous footballer. I think it’s going to be five or 10 years until people start going ‘woah’ and giving him the kind of respect he deserves.

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Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard

Who scored the most Premier League goals?

“That front three [Thierry Henry, Rooney, Ronaldo], I can’t look beyond that.”

When asked to explain Shearer’s absence, Ferdinand reasoned: “I’ve gone with somebody I played with [Rooney]. I’ve seen him unnerve the best, the biggest, the fastest, the ugliest… Rooney did that every single week. Sorry, Al!”

Watch: Ferdinand explains his ultimate Premier League XI picks

“Man Utd are finished!” Rant via The Football Terrace

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