Rio Ferdinand names Real Madrid ace alongside Barcelona duo as best midfielders ever
It’s difficult to see past Luka Modric as one of the greatest ever to play the game. At 37, he has shown no signs of stopping and is, once again, one of the best performers in the UEFA Champions League this season.
He is also celebrated as one of the best midfielders to ever grace the game, alongside the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Andrea Pirlo, Zinedine Zidane, and others.
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand is evidently a huge fan of Modric, too, and has hailed him as the top three midfielders of all time recently.
When asked to choose between Modric and Andrea Pirlo, Ferdinand said (h/t MadridXtra), “Modric. When you talk about the best midfielders ever, Pirlo does not really come into the conversation. It’s Xavi, Iniesta, and Modric.”
Ferdinand has played against all three legendary midfielders he name-dropped, but he faced off against Luka Modric for four years in the Premier League before the Croatian eventually moved to Real Madrid in 2012.
One of the iconic games between the two sides came in the 2008/09 season when United won 5-2 despite going 0-2 down in the first half. Modric was one of the two Tottenham players on target that day.
Rio Ferdinand had also tried to get Modric to sign for Manchester United before the Croat left for Madrid.
“But Modric, I remember speaking to him, I said, ‘Are you leaving [Tottenham]?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, I think I’m going to go’, but he wasn’t sure at the time where he was going,” the former United centre-back said, as quoted by Metro.
“I said, ‘Listen, you’ve got to come to United, man’ and he said, ‘Yeah, listen, I want to be the first Croatian to play for Man United, I want to be that guy, can we make it happen?’
“But it didn’t happen. I spoke to David Gill and the manager [Sir Alex] at the time had already agreed with Shinji Kagawa.”