Rio Ferdinand has named his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in his 2021 team of the year.

In the latest Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand and rest of the panel select who they feel were the best 11 players during 2021.

After picking Mohamed Salah and Robert Lewandowski as his first two forwards, Ferdinand explains his decision for choosing Ronaldo as his final player.

Manchester United v Burnley - Premier League
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Ferdinand said: “Top goalscorer in Serie A before he left and came back to England. If he doesn’t play Manchester United gets knocked out of the Champions League, he’s already in double figures for goals this season.”

The 36-year-old finished last season with 29 goals in the Italian top-flight, five goals clear of Romelu Lukaku who also moved back to the Premier League in the summer.

So far this season, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has 14 goals and three assists from 22 appearances.

United’s number seven scored in all five of the Champions League group games he played which ensured we qualified for the last-16, where we will play Atletico Madrid, as Group F winners.

Villarreal CF v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League
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Ferdinand launched a staunch defence of Ronaldo’s movement when it was questioned by another member of the panel.

United’s former centre-back said: “It is utterly disrespectful to question a man of his ability in terms of movement alone.

“The people that should be under scrutiny when talking about movement with Ronaldo are the people that don’t see the movement.”

Ferdinand’s XI was: Edouard Mendy, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Antonio Rudiger, Joao Cancelo, Thomas Muller, N’Golo Kante, Marco Verratti, Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo.

United fans will be hoping Cristiano Ronaldo is fit enough to return for Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa after missing Monday’s FA Cup clash with a ‘minor muscle problem’.

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