Rio Ferdinand has claimed that there is only one current player from the Premier League who is the “closest thing” to Manchester United legend David Beckham.
Beckham etched a lasting impression during his prolific spell at Old Trafford and lifted six Premier League titles, a Champions League and two FA Cups with United.
The 48-year-old former United superstar, who is the president of MLS side Inter Miami, was also captain for England and made 115 appearances for the Three Lions.
Ferdinand compares De Bruyne to Beckham
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand hailed Beckham as an “unreal” player and added that the former United winger was “deadly from around the box.”
The TNT Sports pundit also made a bold statement by suggesting Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is the closest current player that he would compare to Beckham.
“Undoubtedly the best crosser of a ball I have ever seen,” Ferdinand said.
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“If you have got to compare anyone in today’s game, I’d go De Bruyne. I would say he’s the closest thing to Becks.
“Becks could play that position, I think. He could either play the holding midfielder in today’s game or he could play the number 8/10 that kind of plays in that area, like Kevin de Bruyne [or] [Martin] Odegaard if we’re talking about the Premier League at the moment.
“In them half spaces, because if he got turned and faced the goal and he didn’t have an opponent in front of him, he’s whipping the ball in the top corner.
“So, you’d have to be almost man-marking him because he was that deadly from around the box. He was unreal. Never seen anything like it.”
Beckham’s legacy continues to endure
Beckham left United in 2003 and went on to sign for Real Madrid after his relationship with legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson fractured.
The former England captain would play for LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain before he called it time on a decorated playing career in 2013.
Gary Neville later admitted that he was “relieved” that Beckham made his exit from United and went on to play in the Spanish capital with Los Blancos.
“When David left, to be honest with you, at the time ‘sad’ probably wasn’t the right word,” he told Stretty News TV (via Sky Sports).
“I was probably relieved a little bit. For him, for the club — it could never end badly, that relationship.
“David had done so much for the club and the club had done so much for David.
“He loves the club and the club loves David. It could never end badly. His time had probably come at United where it was right to leave.”