English football fans have been privileged to witness some of the greatest centre-backs of all time. To date, there is no universally accepted answer as to who is the best.
Now some of the names mentioned in this discussion have joined in on it. In a recent “Between the Lines” episode, Rio Ferdinand and Virgil van Dijk listed out their top 5 Premier League central defenders.
Ferdinand chose himself as the best, with Nemanja Vidic, Virgil van Dijk, Jaap Stam, and John Terry following. Van Dijk agreed that Ferdinand is the best of all time. Vincent Kompany, Stam, Terry, and Sami Hyypia followed to complete the Liverpool defender’s picks.
Not everyone agrees with the selections made by the two. John Terry was especially upfront in voicing his disagreement.
The former Chelsea captain posted an Instagram story which said “Opinions are great, but stats don’t lie…” while displaying his achievements as a player.
Terry certainly has a case to make. As a captain, he has won the most titles in the league. With regards to clean sheets and goals, he again tops the list among Premier League defenders.
He appeared in the Fifpro World XI five years in a row, which sees him in the top 10 list of appearances in this eleven. Terry was named in the best eleven of the 2006 World Cup, despite England’s disappointing campaign.
Statistically, John Terry is one of the GOATs, however, they aren’t the only measurement when deciding the best. His off the pitch controversies too influence people’s opinion of him.
And that’s exactly what Rio pointed out as he brought back John Terry’s alleged racist attack on his brother Anton – “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.”
Obviously, the feud wasn’t done at this point as Terry snapped back at Rio – “A fragile Ego is putting yourself at Number 1 @rioferdy5. Thanks for putting me in your top 5”.
A fragile Ego is putting yourself at Number 1 @rioferdy5— John Terry (@JohnTerry26) May 26, 2022
Thanks for putting me in your top 5 🏆👍🏻
A fan pointed out how Terry had seemingly ignored the part where Rio accused him of racism, he responded by saying – “Stats don’t lie “ NOT GUILTY” Addressed it now what ?”
The debate surrounding the best EPL centre-back will go on till the end of time. All three people involved in this fiasco can be labelled one. Van Dijk is the complete package. However, Ferdinand and Terry’s legacy will require more effort and longevity to overshadow.