Rio Ferdinand puts two former teammates in all-time Champions League XI

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has put two of his former teammates in his all-time Champions League XI.

The England defender enjoyed many big occasions in Europe during his career. Ferdinand captained Man United as they won their third European Cup in 2008. United beat fellow English side Chelsea on penalties in Moscow following a 1-1 draw.

However, he has suffered heartbreak in the final of Europe’s greatest club competition too. Ferdinand was part of the United sides that lost in the 2009 and 2011 finals – falling victim to the might of Barcelona on both occasions.

Despite this, the centre-back had a great impact on the competition and is widely considered one of the finest defenders of his generation.

Read: Rio Ferdinand explains what Cristiano Ronaldo must change at Man United.

Swapping playing for punditry, Ferdinand has participated in BT Sport’s ‘Immortals’ series. As part of the collection of episodes, he chose his all-time Champions League XI.

Ferdinand picks two former teammates

Considering the quality of the sides that Rio Ferdinand played in, it is unsurprising that he chose two former teammates in his all-time Champions League side.

The first name on his team sheet was former Ajax and Man United keeper Edwin van der Sar. The Dutchman has two Champions League titles to his name – one with Ajax in 1995 and the 2008 trophy with Man United.

“He came in and just absolutely calmed the place down,” said Ferdinand on Van der Sar. “I think judging goalkeepers, for me, do they transpire that calmness and confidence through the team? And our back four were always calmer when he was in the goal.

“He was just there, he made saves, and he made them comfortably. Right positioning, great with both feet. He was brilliant, really calm, really good guy. He’s my number one.”

At the other end of the pitch, Ferdinand put Cristiano Ronaldo in his all-time team. Interestingly, he placed United’s number seven in a central striker slot. Currently holding the top spot on the leading scorers list in Champions League history, Ronaldo is a shoo-in for any all-time side.

The Portuguese international has won five European Cups during his long and illustrious career. Instrumental to Man United, he scored as they won the 2008 final on penalties. Following his move to Real Madrid, Ronaldo picked up four more titles – including an impressive three in a row.

It comes as little surprise that Ronaldo found his way into Rio Ferdinand’s greatest Champions League side. But who else made the team?

Other players in the Rio Ferdinand Champions League XI

Interestingly, the Man United man picked four players from the Barcelona sides that he lost to in the final on two occasions. The telepathic duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta are in midfield, with Lionel Messi on the right wing. Also on the right-hand side is Barca full-back Dani Alves.

On the opposite flank, a pair of Brazilians make Ferdinand’s team. Ronaldinho, who won the 2006 edition with Barca, plays left wing, and Roberto Carlos is at left-back. In addition, Sergio Ramos and Paolo Maldini complete the defence, the pair boasting an impressive combined nine European Cups.

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Finally, Maldini’s former AC Milan teammate Clarence Seedorf completes the midfield and Ferdinand’s team.

Choosing an all-time side is always a hot topic of conversation; no one ever totally agrees with each other. That being said, Rio Ferdinand’s effort may take some beating.

Featured image credit: Getty