Premier League • England

‘Disrespectful to Real Madrid’ Rio Ferdinand hits back after Michael Owen claims Liverpool are still the best

Jermaine Jenas, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand working as BT Sport pundits

Rio Ferdinand has hit back at Michael Owen’s claim that Liverpool are the best team in Europe despite losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid.

Liverpool slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Real in Paris despite creating the better chances. However they could not find a way past Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who had the game of his life. He denied Mohamed Salah on three occasions and was unbeatable all night.

Even so credit has to be given to Real for getting the job done. They were dead and buried against Manchester City in the semi-final and also overcame Chelsea in the quarters. But Owen still claimed Liverpool were the best.

“I still think they’re the best team in Europe, I really do,” Owen told BT Sport after the game. “On other occasions they’d be getting their name etched in the trophy.”

Ferdinand quickly jumped in and poured cold water on Owen’s claim. “How can you say they’re the best team in Europe? They’ve just lost the league and the Champions League final,” he added.

Owen went on to say that Liverpool have had an outstanding season and are still the “team to beat”. Ferdinand says there is no doubting that Liverpool are a top team. However to be the best team in Europe he believes you have to win the silverware.

“I don’t think they’re the best team in Europe,” he added. “I think you’ve got to win the biggest trophies to be considered the best. They’re an unbelievably exciting team. The points tally they’ve got in the league, the consistency in which they’ve played, they’ve competed in every single game available to them.

“But you’ve got to get your hands on the big trophies to be called outright the best team in Europe.”

Rio Ferdinand says winning trophies is the key

Ferdinand also believes it is not right to label Liverpool the best team in Europe when they have just lost to Real.

“I don’t think they’ll be considered that and it would be disrespectful to Real Madrid to say that,” he said. “They’ve just beaten all our top three teams in our league, they’ve got rid of them and got their hands on that trophy.”

As well as winning the Champions League, Real also dominated on home soil. They won the La Liga title in impressive style. Barcelona in second place were some 13 points behind.

The win against Liverpool also means Real now have 14 European Cups to their name.

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