‘The distinct difference in class was shown’: Rio Ferdinand lauds Real Madrid after their stunning Champions League win over Liverpool and insists Carlo’s Ancelotti’s side are ‘still going up and improving’ as he hails their recruitment
Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Real Madrid following their stunning last-16 Champions League win over Liverpool at Anfield.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have all but secured a place in the quarter-finals with a stunning 5-2 win over the Reds, having been 2-0 down.
And Ferdinand compared the two teams’ trajectory, insisting Real are on the way up with the number of young players in their squad.
The former Manchester United defender said: ‘The distinct difference in class tonight was shown. You have a team on one side who looks like they are going down, compared to another team which looks like it is still going up and improving.
‘You look at their team from last year and think it is another year older, Benzema, Kroos, Modric, it is going to be tough, they’ve lost Casemiro.
Real Madrid have one foot in the quarter-finals of Champions League after beating Liverpool
Rio Ferdinand believes the LaLiga side are on the way up with the young players in their squad
Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr scored a brace each in the stunning win at Anfield
‘The recruitment over the last couple of years from the Galactico era to bringing young players in and developing, like Vinicius, Rodrygo, Camavinga. These players are now looking like proper players in the Champions League.
‘They have been developed over time. The patience of that, added to a team that is still winning. You have to give props to the people behind the scenes who are running that ship.’
Ferdinand believes a lack of confidence was the cause for Liverpool’s downfall despite them winning their two games prior to Tuesday’s loss.
‘This is a team that have been lacking confidence all season. They have had good results in the last two games,’ he added.
‘But you see the frailties as soon as they go behind, with the lack of confidence from over a period of time come to the fore. It is difficult to build confidence overnight. It comes with five, six, seven eight games.’
Ferdinand believes a lack of confidence was the cause for Liverpool’s downfall on Tuesday
Liverpool made a flying start and scored twice through Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, before a double from Vinicius Jr – the second of which came when Alisson’s attempted pass struck him and looped back over the goalkeeper into the net – drew Real level at half-time.
The second half belonged to the visitors as Eder Militao edged them in front before Karim Benzema’s brace moved the reigning champions to the brink of the quarter-finals.
Liverpool will seek to make an unlikely comeback when they visit the Bernabeu for the second leg on March 15.