Rio Ferdinand says he would choose Frank Lampard over Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard if he had the chance to select one of the trio as a manager.
Ferdinand played with all three at either club or international level, but plumped for Lampard due to his goals and assists record, while paying tribute to both Scholes and Gerrard.
Ferdinand told his Five YouTube channel: “If I’m a manager I take Frank because he’s going to get me 20 (goals) a year. As a manager I want them to define matches, he’s going to get me 20 and probably double-figures in assists.”
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“Scholesy was a joke to play with man,” Ferdinand added. “I played with him when he played just in front of me and he just conducted the game. When I first went to United when he played off Ruud van Nistelrroy and he was unplayable, I think he scored 20 odd goals that season. An unbelievable talent, all round.
“Scholesy is hard to keep out, he’s probably my favourite player I played with. I used to thank him for letting me be on the same pitch as him – he used to think I was mad, for sure.
“He didn’t score as much as Frank, Frank’s the most potent out of all of them in terms of goals – none of them can get near Frank. Goals and assists, Frank dwarfs everybody and he was cold as ice in the box.”
Ferdinand hailed Gerrard’s heroics for Liverpool, claiming he would have done more had he played for a more successful team.
“Stevie was like Roy of the Rovers,” Ferdinand said. “He would just drag a game by the scruff of its neck, in big occasions – Champions League semi-finals, finals, FA Cup finals.
“The problem with Stevie, if he was in a great team then I’d like to see his impact then. In great teams you normally share the load a little bit more.
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“In his team it had to be him, the ball had to go to him and it had to be him all the time. So in big teams, better teams that are winning leagues it is a little bit shared out. Yeah we had Ronaldo but we had Rooney and we had Tevez as well.
“If I’m buying a ticket to go to a game, I’m picking Gerrard for those explosive moments that the other two don’t have. He changes the whole dynamics of a football match with a tackle or a shot at goal.
“Every training session, he’d do something and you’d go ‘woah’. Mad player. If you had him at United, we’d have done all sorts and even more.”
Scholes had a tough time cementing his place in the England team and was infamously played on the left of midfield with Lampard and Gerrard in the middle.
“Disrespectful,” Ferdinand said. “He’s an unbelievable player. We played a rigid 4-4-2 and you’re asking Scholesy, who isn’t a runner, to play left-wing. I didn’t like it.”