Ferdinand: ‘Tremendous’ duo are justifying their England place

Date published: Wednesday 30th June 2021 4:25 - Lewis Oldham

Ferdinand F365

Rio Ferdinand has lauded England duo Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice after they shone against Germany in the Euro 2020 Round of 16.

With Jordan Henderson only just returning to full fitness, Phillips and Rice have partnered each other in midfield for most of England’s games at Euro 2020 so far.

The Three Lions switched to a 3-4-3 set-up against Germany on Tuesday and they were trusted in midfield once again.

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Phillips and Rice both put in stellar displays as Gareth Southgate’s men won 2-0. Ferdinand has told BBC Sport (as cited by MOT Leeds News) that the duo have been “tremendous”:

“In that midfield area, Jordan Henderson is captain of Liverpool, he’s won the Champions League and Premier League, he’s being kept out by players like Rice and Phillips.

“They’re doing a tremendous job of screening the back three and when they get the ball they’re progressive.”

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zinchenko has heaped praise on Raheem Sterling ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final:

“It is really difficult to score against England, they are really well organised,” said Zinchenko.

“They have a really good set of footballers and the substitute bench probably costs [the same] as three Ukrainian teams.

“This shouldn’t be really scary for us, this should motivate us. We need to give ourselves the highest aims, the highest goals, and I am sure that the coaching team will get the strategy for us.

“I sense myself that everything is possible in this life and we will do everything we can for it.

“I’ve watched pretty much all the games that England have played, except today because we were getting ready for our game.

“The first thing that I noticed is I know quite a lot of those players personally because I see them in the Premier League.

“Raheem Sterling is one of the best wingers in the world. Right now he is in amazing form.

“He is great, he makes the difference. We obviously need to pay attention to him and we will need to try to somehow stop him because he’s on a roll now.

“Who is the strongest opponent that I have ever played? I have said several times that it’s the footballers from Manchester City, those that I see every day at training.”

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