Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand sees great unity inside the England camp - like never before.

The veteran says England squads of the past were riddled with cliques.

Ferdinand told The Sun: "When I first started with England, players would sit in distinct groups.

"You would have a table for Manchester United players, another for the Liverpool lads and one for Alan Shearer and his mob.

"I didn't know where to sit for fear I would upset one group or another and be marked down as in a particular gang.

"It all sounds strange now but that's how it was in those days.

"I think it was partly because many of the Liverpool boys were proper Scousers, like Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman, while the Manchester United lads were real Mancs, such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.

"And it doesn't need me to explain how bitter the rivalry can be between the two teams, especially if you have grown up with it ever since you were a kid.

"When I was invited along to Euro 96, just to join in training for a couple of days, I sat with Paul Ince, who was with Inter Milan at the time, and Les Ferdinand, because we were Londoners."