Rio Ferdinand takes apart “disrespectful” Michael Owen and his Liverpool argument

Rio Ferdinand took apart Michael Owen’s “disrespectful” argument about Liverpool after the Reds were defeated in the Champions League final by Real Madrid.

Vinicius Junior scored the only goal of the game, two minutes before half-time, to seal the Spanish giant’s 14 thChampions League title and ensure that an incredible season for the Reds ended with disappointment. It came less than a week after Jurgen Klopp’s side narrowly missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

Former Reds striker Owen went into the game saying that the Reds were the strongest club in the world right now and predicted that they would win the Champions League final comfortably. However, despite winning the EFL Cup and FA Cup – they narrowly missed out on their two most prized trophies.

Owen stuck to his guns on BT Sport after the match by stating: “I don’t think it’ll change much about how [Klopp] will approach the game, that just happens sometimes. I still think they’re the best team in Europe, I really do. On other occasions they’d be getting their name etched in the trophy.”

That led to fellow pundit Ferdinand interjecting: “How can you say they’re the best team in Europe? They’ve just lost the league and the Champions League final.” To which Owen responded: “The season they’ve had, I still think they’re the team to beat.

Real Madrid have got past them today, but you know as well as anyone that a one-off game is a one-off game. I still think they’re the most fearsome team in Europe and they’ve not got any of the big two trophies to show for it, that’ll be the biggest pill to swallow.”

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Vinicius Junior's strike just before the hour mark condemned the Reds to a painful loss

Vinicius Junior’s strike just before the hour mark condemned the Reds to a painful loss

Ferdinand then went to dissect that argument by claiming that the end results – in multiple competitions – show that, as excellent a team as Liverpool are, they do not have the status that Owen claimed. The former central defender continued: “I don’t think they’re the best team in Europe, I think you’ve got to win the biggest trophies to be considered the best.

“They’re an unbelievably exciting team, the points tally they’ve got in the league, the consistency in which they’ve played, they’ve competed in every single game available to them, but you’ve got to get your hands on the big trophies to be called outright the best team in Europe.

“I don’t think they’ll be considered that and it would be disrespectful to Real Madrid to say that. They’ve just beaten all our top three teams in our league, they’ve got rid of them and got their hands on that trophy.

“Finally the argument is over for the Ballon d’Or. If Karim Benzema doesn’t get the Ballon d’Or along with this trophy it’ll be a travesty.”

Owen hit back with: “If you want to qualify who is the best team in Europe then yeah they’ve got the trophy, but can you watch the two games against Man City and say ‘yeah they’re the better team’? Can you say the same against Chelsea?

“Possibly today they’ve ground it out, but just cos you win the trophy I think there’s a lot more to be said over who is the best team. Nobody is taking away from how they’ve won this trophy, it’s phenomenal.”

Ferdinand concluded the debate by summing up: “They’ve not won the league though. If they’d won the league I could understand, but if they haven’t won the league and they haven’t won this, I don’t think they can be in the shake-up to be the best team in the world right now.”

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