Rio Ferdinand has said club rivalries shattered his friendship with Frank Lampard and it had an impact on the national team. But he believes this generation’s England side, including Chelsea stars, will not have the same problem.
Ferdinand and Lampard grew up together at West Ham before they moved on to become Premier League rivals at Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.
The former England international spoke on an Instagram Live explaining how rivalries among big Premier League clubs affected their performance on the international stage.
He admitted there was an “underlying tension” in England camps.
Ferdinand said (via the Daily Star): “And you have to remember Frank Lampard was one of my best mates, my best mate in football when we were growing up, talked to him and see him every day, roomed with him for like four or five years.
“And I went from being like that close to not chatting to him on the phone, not seeing him, because I was desperate to win for United and I hated the thought of him winning for Chelsea.”
However, he believes the current England internationals will not have the same issue.
He said: “I think the lads now, the difference is they all came through the youth system together. The Hudson-Odoi’s, the Sancho’s, the Foden’s, etc.
“That generation I think will probably win us something, they’ll get us something or definitely get us to a final at some point, because these boys have all played with each other and the others that come around that will feed off that, the unity.
“I think this generation love it now, the Sancho’s, the Hudson-Odoi’s, the Foden’s etc, Reece James and all them, Mason Mount, Tammy (Abraham). They can’t wait to go, because they’re going to see their mates.”
It remains to be seen if Ferdinand will follow in Lampard’s footsteps and become a football manager, but if he does, the rivalry may take another interesting turn in the years to come.