Ferdinand has slammed John Terry and his ‘fragile ego’ after the former Chelsea skipper took umbrage with the Manchester United legend’s all-time centre-back rankings, even bringing up the issue of racism that embroiled his ex-international team-mate.
The war of words stemmed from an interview Ferdinand conducted with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk this week in which the pair ranked the greatest ever Premier League centre-backs.
Ferdinand – who picked himself at number one – surprisingly put both Van Dijk and Jaap Stam ahead of his old England team-mate, even though Terry’s collection of trophies far exceeds both players.
Terry still came in at number five on Ferdinand’s list, with the BT Sport pundit saying: ‘In terms of his longevity at that club, what they won, body on the line, a much better footballer than people give him credit for, could play off his left and right foot.’
But that praise was consolation for what Terry deemed an insulting ranking, with the Chelsea legend posting a number of images on Instagram highlighting his many accolades & titles alongside the message: ‘Opinions are great but stats don’t lie…’
But it did not go down well with Ferdinand, who messaged Terry on Twitter just before midnight on Thursday accusing him of being insecure.
‘The moment one has to start pushing their own records and stats it’s really time to start addressing the fragile ego,’ he tweeted.
Taking the exchange even further, Ferdinand suggested that Terry was lucky not to be discounted from the rankings list entirely after being accused of using racist language towards Rio’s brother Anton in 2011.
He continued: ‘You’re lucky I even put you in the top five after the racism case with my brother, so be thankful you made it.’
Terry was found not guilty in court over the allegations, though his FA charge – stating he had used ‘abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour’ which ‘included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand’ – stood, with the defender given a four-match ban and fined £200,000.
The spat did not end there, though, with Terry responding to Ferdinand again with a pointed message of his own: ‘A fragile ego is putting yourself at number one. Thanks for putting me in your top five.’
Terry also retweeted another post listing his many accolades and awards – such as having the most clean sheets of any Premier League defender – while he also blasted a follower who suggested he had ignored Ferdinand’s remark about the racism allegations.
‘Stats don’t lie: not guilty,’ he wrote, echoing his previous comment. ‘Addressed it, now what?’