Sol Campbell names Rio Ferdinand as his best centre-back partner for England

Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell
Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell were at the heart of England’s defence at the 2002 World Cup (Picture: Getty Images)

Sol Campbell has played with some of the greatest England defenders of all time, but has picked out Rio Ferdinand as the best partner he had at centre-back for his country.

The former Arsenal, Tottenham and Portsmouth star racked up 73 caps for England from 1996-07, playing at six consecutive international tournaments, from Euro 96 to World Cup 2006.

During that lengthy spell on the international scene, Campbell played with the likes of Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Gareth Southgate and John Terry in the middle of England’s defence, but it is Ferdinand that stood out above the rest.

‘I think when I look at it, it must be Rio really,’ Campbell told Sky Sports. ‘We complemented each other for England and the balance was perfect.

‘It’s just a shame we couldn’t push a little bit further and win something for our country. But that was the best balance for me with England.’

Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Ariel Ortega
Campbell played with Tony Adams at the 1998 World Cup in France (Picture: Getty Images)

Ferdinand and Campbell were the first choice central defenders for England at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea where England were downed at the quarter-final stage by Brazil.

Campbell scored the only goal of his international career in that tournament, heading in from a corner during the 1-1 draw with Sweden in the group stages.

England lined up with three in central defence in France 98, with Campbell alongside Adams and Southgate, before Campbell partnered Keown at Euro 2000.

It was Campbell and Terry at Euro 2004, while Sol was third choice behind Ferdinand and Terry but still in the squad at the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

Campbell made his last appearance for his country in sad circumstances as the Three Lions were beaten 3-2 at home by Croatia in November 2007 to miss out on qualification for Euro 2008. Sol played alongside Joleon Lescott in that contest at Wembley.

MORE: Wojciech Szczesny reveals conversation with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after he was caught smoking

MORE: Arsenal winning race to sign Chelsea star Willian on free transfer

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments