Rio: Premier League sides are not up to scratch

Date published: Thursday 11th May 2017 2:40

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

Reigning champions Leicester were the only Premier League side to reach the Champions League quarter-finals this season, while the last English side to lift the European Cup were Chelsea back in 2012.

English clubs have also offered just two semi-finalists in the subsequent five seasons.

In stark contrast, Real Madrid reached the last four of the competition for the seventh consecutive season this year.

They will compete in their third final in four seasons when they take on 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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