Rio Ferdinand raises racism case between brother Anton and John Terry in 'fragile ego' war-of-words

Rio Ferdinand hit out at John Terry and his "fragile ego" after his former England team-mate took issue with the Manchester United legend's all-time centre back rankings

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Ferdinand sat down with Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk this week to discuss and rank who they considered to be the Premier League's best ever centre-backs.

The 43-year-old picked himself at number one and put Van Dijk and United great Jaap Stam ahead of Terry.

Terry came in at number 5 on his list, despite his trophy collection far exceeding both players.

The former Man Utd, Leeds and West Ham defender said: "In terms of his longevity at that club, what they won, body on the line, a much better footballer than people give him credit for, could play off his left and right foot."

But despite the praise, Terry appeared to be insulted by his fifth-place finish.

John Terry
John Terry

Taking to Instagram, the Chelsea legend posted a string of images highlighting his career achievements alongside the caption: "Opinions are great but stats don't lie."

Ferdinand was not happy – and raised an incident when Terry was accused of using racist language towards his brother, Anton, in 2011.

He posted on Twitter: "‘The moment one has to start pushing their own records and stats it’s really time to start addressing the fragile ego.

"You’re lucky I even put you in the top five after the racism case with my brother, so be thankful you made it."

John Terry
John Terry

Terry was found not guilty in court over the allegations.

Though his FA charge – stating he had used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" which "included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand" – stood.

The Chelsea legend was handed a four-match ban and fined £200,000.

He was also stripped of the England captaincy, with Terry announcing his international retirement on the eve of the FA's hearing.

But even after Ferdinand's post, Terry was not finished.

He wrote: "A fragile ego is putting yourself at number one. Thanks for putting me in your top five."

Terry then retweeted a string of posts listing his many accolades and awards, followed by another tweet referring to the racism allegations.

He tweeted "stats don’t lie: 'Not Guilty'" followed by: "Addressed it, now what?"