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Rio Ferdinand faces backlash from Arsenal fans on flight over Bukayo Saka comments

Ferdinand recently revealed he doesn’t consider Saka a world-class player

Former Manchester United captain, Rio Ferdinand, recently found himself in the crosshairs of disgruntled Arsenal fans during a flight. The cause of their ire? His comments on England international and Arsenal forward, Bukayo Saka.

Ferdinand had previously made remarks about Saka on TNT Sports post-match show, stating that the young English player is not yet world-class. This was while comparing him to his national teammate Phil Foden. The comments sparked outrage among many sports enthusiasts who believe that Saka has already proven his worth on the global stage.

Rio Ferdinand, Former Manchester United captain, said:

"I think you've got to be looking at him [Foden] like that [world-class]. For what he does for the team, his importance to the team, with goals, assists and the rhythm of the game, especially this season."

"I don't think [Saka] has done it at the top level, winning trophies at a team like this. He's not [in as good a team as City's]. You've got to respect and appreciate that Foden's done this, where the medals are handed out, he's performed. Against the best teams as well, consistently."

The Manchester United legend didn't back down from his stance even when confronted by angry supporters. He reiterated his views on his podcast Vibe with Five, further fueling the controversy.

Fans booed Ferdinand and chanted 'Saka is world-class'

During a recent flight, Ferdinand came face-to-face with some vocal Arsenal fans who expressed their disagreement with him through boos and chants of "Saka is world-class." This incident was reported by Sport Bible and quickly gained traction among sports fans worldwide.

In an unexpected twist, RyanAir staff offered Ferdinand an opportunity to respond to these passionate fans by allowing him to address them through the plane's PA system.

Rio Ferdinand added:

"Guys, I just want to say it's been an absolute pleasure traveling with you all. But, I must say, Saka is a fantastic player, just not world class yet. He will be one day, just not yet."

Saka has been the driving force behind Arsenal’s rise

Despite differing opinions about whether he has reached 'world-class' status or not, there's no denying that Bukayo Saka has been performing exceptionally well for Arsenal this season. In just 32 appearances across all competitions so far this season, he has scored 15 goals and provided 13 assists - impressive statistics for any player regardless of age or experience level.

While debates over players' statuses are common in sports circles - especially among football enthusiasts - it's clear that emotions can run high when it comes to defending favorite players like Bukayo Saka. Whether you agree with Rio Ferdinand's assessment or not, one thing is certain: Saka's performance on the field continues to make a strong case for his inclusion in the 'world-class' category.

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