Former Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher and ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand engaged in a heated exchange regarding football players moving to Saudi Arabia. The discussion began when Carragher criticized the trend of players in their prime joining clubs in the Middle East, including Bernardo Silva, N’Golo Kante, and Ruben Neves. Carragher called for an end to what he referred to as “sports washing.” Furthermore, he pointed out that his former teammate Steven Gerrard had also joined the bandwagon by taking charge of Al-Ettifaq.
Ferdinand responded to Carragher’s remarks in a scathing video. He questioned Carragher’s silence about Gerrard’s move, stating, “Your boy’s gone over there, I’ve not heard a peep out of you.” Ferdinand emphasized that other countries and leagues have engaged in similar practices over the years.
Carragher swiftly defended himself, clarifying that he had never criticized Silva, Benzema, Neves, or Gerrard individually. He expressed his concerns about Saudi Arabia attempting to buy football, comparing it to their efforts in the golf industry. Carragher also hinted at Ferdinand’s alleged refusal to criticize Qatar due to personal interests.
The disagreement continued as Ferdinand denied Carragher’s claim that he was asked to do punditry on the opening game. He accused Carragher of fabricating stories and urged him to maintain consistency in his criticism of other leagues that have acquired top talent.
Carragher rejected Ferdinand’s explanation and alluded to rumors of Qatar’s interest in acquiring Manchester United, suggesting it may have influenced Ferdinand’s views. He emphasized the differences between the Saudi league’s player acquisitions and those of other leagues.
Ferdinand then accused Carragher of disrespecting Saudi Arabia, highlighting the former Liverpool player’s silence when Gerrard and Robbie Fowler followed suit by joining Saudi clubs.
The ongoing exchange between Ferdinand and Carragher reflects their history of clashes. Although they had previously resolved their disputes, it remains uncertain how and when this latest round of verbal sparring between the two football legends will conclude.
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