Rio criticises standard of Premier League sides

Date published: Thursday 11th May 2017 11:50

Rio Ferdinand believes that Premier League teams are nowhere near the “standard” of Europe’s best sides.

The furthest an English side progressed in the Champions League this season was Leicester, who reached the quarter-finals.

The last Premier League side to lift Europe’s most famous trophy was Chelsea in 2011/12, and English clubs have offered just two semi-finalists in the subsequent five seasons.

It is a stark contrast to their continental cousins, with Real Madrid advancing to the semi-final stage for the seventh consecutive season this year.

They will compete in their third final in four seasons against Juventus on June 3, and Ferdinand believes the gulf in class between such sides and those in England is alarming.

“All our English teams are way off this standard,” he told BT Sport.

“Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus. There’s a lot of money that’s come into the English game, but all the English teams seem to be in a transition. New managers, new teams.

“Chelsea are the nearest, they have a real settled team and their first XI is a real, genuine first XI. I think Jose Mourinho is still searching for his first XI, he’s still not sure of a few players. This summer will be huge for them.”

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