Rio Ferdinand admits Liverpool had a 'nasty' player who he really hated playing against
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Rio Ferdinand admits Liverpool had a 'nasty' player who he really hated playing against

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has claimed that he hated playing against Liverpool’s Fernando Torres.

Ferdinand and Torres had some brilliant tussles during their times at United and Liverpool respectively. Now retired, Ferdinand spends his time creating content for his FIVE podcast series. In yesterday’s instalment, Rio was asked to name the tougher opponent – Torres or Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.

“Torres was hard, I was talking about this the other day. He was quick, he was strong, aggressive, ran in behind, did all the stuff you didn’t want,” said the 44-year-old. “I was talking to [Rafa] Benitez about him actually, and he actually was a nasty guy sometimes on the pitch. Great player. He stamped on my foot once at half-time I had about four or five stitches in my foot, the ball wasn’t even there.

“So he had an aggressive nature. But I enjoyed games against him. Drogba didn’t actually make the game as hard for me, but he scored big goals against us.”

Although he names Torres as the tougher opponent, Ferdinand plumped for the former Chelsea man as the better all-round player. “I’m going to go Drogba because of the big goals he scored, but Torres was harder,” he said.

Ferdinand sends Torres reminder

Also appearing on the latest edition of FIVE was Ferdinand’s former Man United teammate Patrice Evra. With the same question posed to him, the Frenchman also named Torres as the fiercer opponent.

“I didn’t have to deal that much with them, but even with the header I was comfortable with Drogba. But with Torres sometimes he would run between the centre-back and left-back, those clever runs. So I would pick Torres, but Drogba hurt us a lot,” Evra said.

It’s easy to forget just how good Torres was in his prime with Liverpool. During the Jurgen Klopp years we’ve been blessed with quality forward after quality forward. But when Nando arrived in 2007, it felt like the Reds had been without a top striker for far too long.

Almost instantly the Spaniard went about putting that right. For a couple of years he was the very best pure striker on the planet. He came third in the 2008 Ballon d’Or and was perhaps unlucky to lose out to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Of course, his career didn’t quite kick on as it should have done from that point. He became a little bit of a figure of fun at Chelsea after his £50m move failed to really work out. As a result, he probably isn’t remembered as highly as he should be.

But listening to Ferdinand and Evra – two legendary defenders – it brings you back to just how brilliant Torres was. One of the best to ever wear the Liverpool No.9 shirt.

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