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20th Feb 2024

Rio Ferdinand winds up Arsenal fans with passenger announcement during flight

Patrick McCarry


We were convinced that was Joe Cole handing over the PA system.

Rio Ferdinand was not shirking his recent comments on Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka, despite being on a plane to Porto full of Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s side are facing Porto in their ‘Last 16’ first leg, on Wednesday, and Ferdinand was on a packed flight to Portugal with a cadre of vociferous Arsenal fans. The supporters were aiming chants in his direction after his recent podcast comments on Saka.

Speaking on Vibe with FIVE, the former Manchester United defender said Saka was ‘not yet’ world-class. “Listen,” he explained, “I think Saka’s been unreal. I actually think he needs a bit of a rest, so many games for a young kid. But I think, it’s almost like what is world-class? He hasn’t done it in the Champions League, has he? I’m talking in the nitty-gritty stages. Saka’s top, don’t get me wrong. He’s not world-class yet.”

After a full flight taking barbs and chants from the Arsenal fans, Ferdinand was handed the Public Address device and told them ‘what an absolute pleasure’ it was to share the journey to Porto with. He continued:

“I must say, Saka is a fantastic player, just not world class yet. He will be, one day, but just not yet!”

Arsenal fans respond to Rio Ferdinand announcement

In fairness to the Arsenal fans, they took that double-down from Rio Ferdinand in good spirits, before launching into another Bukayo Saka chant.

The midfielder has an opportunity, starting on Wednesday, to prove to Ferdinand that he can do it in the “nitty-gritty” of the European Cup knock-out stages.

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