Entering the 2014 World Cup, one of the biggest question marks about England’s squad was how the centre-back pairing of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka would fair in replacing the likes of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
Being in a group with strikers the calibre of Mario Balotelli, Joel Campbell, Edinson Cavani, and Luis Suarez would be a difficult task for anyone, but especially players who were appearing in their first World Cup.
The two did not fair well, with the defense allowing four goals in its first two matches against Italy and Uruguay, one by Balotelli and two by Suarez.
But former England centre-back Rio Ferdinand, who appeared for England in the World Cup in 2002 and 2006, says that while experienced players may have been a safer route to take, the experience the two Premier League defenders gained is invaluable.
Ferdinand, speaking to promote the launch of EA SPORTS UFC, said: “I think it was difficult because when you’re inexperienced and you go there, you often don’t know what you’re getting into.
“There’s no second chances in World Cup football, you’ve got to produce. I think experience wise it will help them.
“They’re two top notch Premier League defenders who play well for their clubs all the time. But, as I said, in the World Cup it’s different.”
What happened when Rio Ferdinand put the gloves on and met UFC’s Brad Pickett? Check out Rio’s EA SPORTS UFC Training Camp at http://youtu.be/tAMvzSUqR4Q.
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