Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah are the best strikers in the Premier League, emphasizes Rio Ferdinand

Ronaldo makes the cut as do Mendy, Salah and Lewandowski… but Rio Ferdinand says Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi ‘cannot be in the conversation’ for his FIFA Team of the Year due to his poor returns since joining PSG came

  • Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has chosen his FIFA Team of the Year
  • Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Man United striker Ronaldo are in
  • Ferdinand praised strikers Mohamed Salah and Robert Lewandowski
  • He has found no place for Lionel Messi or Romelu Lukaku, who shone at Inter

Cristiano Ronaldo’s rescue missions for Manchester United and Mohamed Salah’s heroism for Liverpool landed them on Lionel Messi’s team of the year, Rio Ferdinand argued – adding that Robert Lewandowski was ‘robbed’ of a Ballon d’Or.

Former United and England stalwart Ferdinand has passionately explained his surprising FIFA Team of the Year rosters, naming three Chelsea stars and a trio of Manchester City team-mates as his picks.

Just over a month after Paris Saint-Germain hitman Messi won a record seventh Ballon d’Or, one of the men who tried to stop him during his phenomenal goals for former club Barcelona claimed that Ronaldo’s arch-rival was not worthy of the team of to be the year.

Mohamed Salah (pictured) is Rio Ferdinand's Team of the Year for 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo also makes the team

Mohamed Salah (left) is in Rio Ferdinand’s team of the year for 2021 – as is Cristiano Ronaldo

Ballon d'Or king Lionel Messi was not part of Ferdinand's thinking in the FIFA nominations

Ballon d’Or king Lionel Messi was not part of Ferdinand’s thinking in the FIFA nominations

Ferdinand told FIVE“Messi has been unable to be in the conversation since joining PSG – because of the poor performance after the transfer window in terms of goals and assists.

‘If [Ronaldo] If he doesn’t play, Man United will be knocked out of the Champions League. [Salah is the] The best player in the Premier League. He has been nothing short of remarkable. He destroyed all newcomers. This man is so clinical.’

Messi has scored a solitary goal in 11 appearances in the much-maligned French top league Ligue 1 since his shocking move from Barca to PSG in August.


This is who Ferdinand chose from the 80 candidates for FIFA Team of the Year

Goalkeeper: Mendy

Defenders: Walker, Rudiger, Dias, Cancelo

Midfielders: Muller, Kante, Verratti

ahead: Salah, Ronaldo, Lewandowski

The Argentine captain was in better form in the Champions League, where Ronaldo, who returned from Juventus to United in the same month, scored one last gasp at Atalanta and a 95th-minute winner at home to Sevilla as his side progressed.

Bayern Munich goal machine Robert Lewandowski, who came second to Messi and would have been a runaway favorite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2020 had it not been cancelled, is an instant pick for Ferdinand.

“There isn’t enough I can say about this man,” the expert said. Most league goals scored of any player in the top five of Europe’s leagues. That’s all I have to say. He wins, no argument.’

Champions League winners Edouard Mendy, Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante join Ferdinand, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo, who won the Premier League with City.

Bayern and Germany livewire Thomas Muller and PSG and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti also make the cut.

Ferdinand added: “[Kylian] Mbappe and [Erling] Haland is going to win [selection] for the next ten years. If you don’t have Kante too, you might as well sit under the table.’



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