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10th Aug 2022

Mario Balotelli, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and why Rio Ferdinand “hated them”

Lee Costello

“I hated Balotelli, hated him.”

Opposing defenders and strikers are probably never going to be the best of friends, and are simply enemies by nature.

One is designed to stop, prevent, and defend goals going in, while the other is hellbent on putting that ball into the back of your net.

One of the very best defenders in Premier League history is Rio Ferdinand. The former Manchester United captain was a colossal for the Red Devils under Alex Ferguson.

During his time at Old Trafford, the now BT pundit came up against some of the very best strikers in the game, so it’s no surprise that a few of these battles turned sour.

Speaking on his YouTube show, Vibe With Five, Ferdinand described three Liverpool players he disliked playing against.

“I hated Balotelli, hated him, he did a couple of things I didn’t like with the fans and I thought he was rude. But I chat with him now, lovely geezer.

“It’s mad because I’d see him after and it would only be respectful. In the games, in the end I respected it, he was an animal on the pitch.

“Didn’t like Suarez, didn’t like Torres. He stamped on my foot one time when the ball was up the other end, stitches in my foot. I was playing, the ball was in the other end, we had some tussles.

 (Photo by Catherine Ivill/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

“He was game trust me. The ball went out at the other end and he just stamped on my foot and there was no ball about anywhere.

“Went in at half-time, took off my boot and it was the worst thing I could’ve done. My foot went ‘woof’ I need stitches. I had an injection, for ages it was killing me, got a scar on my foot.”