Rio Ferdinand and John Terry have been involved in a war of words on social media over the former’s list of the five best centre-backs in Premier League history.
The BT Sport pundit, discussing the topic with Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk, placed the pair, along with Nemanja Vidic and Jaap Stam ahead of Terry.
Chelsea legend, Terry, fired back with a post on his Instagram story showing his impressive statistics during his career stating that ‘stats don’t lie’.
Rio Ferdinand placed John Terry as the fifth best centre-back of the Premier League era
Terry was not impressed with his placing in Ferdinand’s Premier League defender rankings
Terry fired back with a graphic collating a number of statistics and saying ‘stats don’t lie’
This led to the war of words on Twitter, with Ferdinand stating that Terry was ‘lucky’ to make the list following the racism case involving his brother Anton.
Old wounds were opened up as the pair have history, after Terry was accused of using racist language towards Ferdinand’s younger brother during a game between Chelsea and QPR back in 2011.
After being ranked fifth by Ferdinand in the Premier League’s all-time best centre-back list, Terry wasn’t impressed and fired back in a post on his Instagram story.
He collated a number of graphics – including the number of times he made the World XI and his win percentage being higher than any other defender.
The 41-year-old posted a number of graphics to his Instagram story – including the number of times he made the World XI, captains with the most Premier League titles and his win percentage being higher than any other defender.
Terry accompanied the graphic with the caption: ‘Opinions are great but stats don’t lie.’
Ferdinand later on Thursday evening wrote: ‘@JohnTerry26 The moment one has to start pushing their own records and stats it’s really time to start addressing the fragile ego.
‘Your lucky I even put you in the top 5 after the racism case with my brother so be thankful you made it.’
Terry fired back: ‘A fragile Ego is putting yourself at Number 1. Thanks for putting me in your top 5.’
Terry is regarded as one of the best Premier League defenders with five title wins for Chelsea
Ferdinand and Terry were rivals for their clubs but were team-mates for the England team
The Chelsea legend was placed under police investigation back in November 2011 following the allegation of racial abuse against then QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Video footage which circulated on the internet led to accusations that Terry calling Ferdinand a ‘f***ing black c***’.
In response to the video footage, Terry claimed that he was actually asking Ferdinand: ‘Oi, Anton, do you think I called you a black c***?’
Terry received a four-game ban and a £220,000 fine from the Football Association, however he was cleared in court after being charged over the incident, and has always denied abusing Ferdinand.
A 2020 BBC documentary ‘Football, Racism and Me’ looked back at the incident and it was said during the programme that Terry chose not to speak to Anton Ferdinand or take part in the show.
Terry claimed that this was untrue and insisted there have been multiple occasions over the years when he has made efforts to contact both Anton and Rio, who described Terry as ‘an idiot’ in his autobiography released in 2014.
Ferdinand and Terry’s relationship soured after the Chelsea legend was accused of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand during a match with Queens Park Rangers back in 2011
Terry, told the Times: ‘It’s disappointing to read and hear that I’ve never reached out.
‘I tried to phone Rio and Anton on numerous occasions, literally the same night [as the game], the day after, and that week after the incident.
‘Then about three, four years ago, I see Rio on the beach in Dubai, so I approached him and said, “Have you got five minutes? I’d like to talk to you”. He was like, “I don’t want to talk to you, JT”.
Liverpool star Van Dijk placed Terry as fourth in his own all-time rankings.
He omitted himself and placed Ferdinand top, following the former United defender with Vincent Kompany, Stam, Terry and ex-Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia.
Ferdinand though did heap praise on Terry while chatting to Van Dijk.
He said in regards to Terry: ‘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.’
Ferdinand placed Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk as the third best defender in the Premier League
After putting Van Dijk in third, the Dutchman disagreed by saying: ‘I’ve only won one Premier League.’
However, Ferdinand responded: ‘Yeah I know but I think the impact you have on the team is massive and your attributes will put you right in the top tier.’
Terry is regarded as one of the best Premier League defenders, winning the title on five occasions.
Ferdinand and Van Dijk agreed that the ex-Manchester United defender should get top spot