Rio Ferdinand says some players from his generation at England ‘sulked’ if they weren’t picked and praises the current squad of ‘professionals’ for buying into Gareth Southgate’s way of thinking ahead of Euro 2020 semi-final
- England are set for their second semi-final in three years on Wednesday night
- Rio Ferdinand believes England’s rise started with their 2018 semi-final loss
- He also praised the current generation of England stars as ‘professionals’
Rio Ferdinand has lauded England’s progress since the last World Cup saying that the current generation of players are ‘professionals’.
England are set to take part in their second-semi final in three years, when they face Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.
Ferdinand believes their 2-1 defeat to Croatia in Russia, was the start of England’s rise under Southgate.
Gareth Southgate’s squad are set to take part in their second semi-final in three years
Rio Ferdinand hailed England’s progress under Southgate and the way they are able to adapt
‘It all comes from Croatia in 2018. This isn’t just something he’s (Southgate) built overnight,’ he told the BBC ahead of Italy’s semi-final with Spain.
He added: ‘Since that game against Croatia, seeing what went wrong and he has worked on it.
‘They can now change formations, bring different players at any time and nothing changes.
‘(Jadon) Sancho’s a great example, he comes in after not playing the first four games and is seamless.’
Ferdinand brought up his experience of being away on international duty and how some players would have reacted when they were brought into action after not starting previous games for the Three Lions.
He said: ‘You look at my team especially, players that were coming in with that situation they would have been sulking around the camp at some point, they would have been speaking to their agents at home probably.
Ferdinand said that ‘nothing changes’ when Southgate brings in different players
‘When they get their opportunity they would have been looking for an excuse going “actually, I’m not fit enough now”.
‘These lads (today) are professionals, they’ve got an understanding of what the job is and they all go out and do it to a tee.
‘I think our squad at the time had more world class players but this team have a much better squad.
‘Players that can come in and change games, there’s not a drop off from the quality of players around them.’
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